Column #HR312 Belgium KO’d by Austria, Yanks Bye-bye, 7 Seeds Advance

Saturday, September 11, 2021
Column HR312
Belgium KO’d by Austria, Yanks Bye-bye, 7 Seeds Advance

This is the first time since 2016 that all seeds advanced to the round of 16.  For those seeded teams that didn’t look good the experts’ said, “They’ll play better in singles.”  Most did play better except for Belgium.  How were the players at doubles?  Never seen so many D10s, D6s and d1s.  Horrid.

First Session

#5 Northern Ireland over Portugal2-0.

Northern Ireland took 8 straight legs.  Gurney was smoke’en with a pair of T80’s, T71 and 3-T40’s. de Sousa averaged only 85.  Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan defeated Jose Marques 4-0 never breaking a sweat.  Marques had one shot at a double.  Daryl Gurney was seen sipping a pint in the practice room.  It worked.  As he defeated Jose de Sousa 4-0 averaging 97.  Considering 5 match darts, the average is misleading.

#1 England beat South Africa 2-0.

England’s James Wade (99 average) beat Carl Gabriel 4-1.  Wade played great but had to as Gabriel was in every leg.  At 3-1 it could well have been 3-2 but, alas, Gabriel messed up 68.  England’s Dave Chisnall defeated Devon Petersen 4-2.  This was a “if I’da” for Devon Peterson and South Africa.  As in the doubles, Peterson had more fallouts than a bridegroom on his wedding night.  Down 2-1 Peterson had a bull bounce out for the leg.   

#7 Australia beat the USA 2-nil.

Australia’s Simon Whitlock over Dan Lauby 4-3.  Down 3-nil, Lauby won three on the trot to level at 3.  His roll included a “Big Fish” out (T70) against the darts only to get rolled in the decider.  Whitlock had an 11-darter and 4-T80’s.  Great match.   Australia’s Damon Heta over Chuck Puleo 4-2.  Heta in change all the way after losing the first leg but could have been 3-all.  (ODC NOTE: The TV announcer is a jackass.  He called Damon Heta “The Heat.” The only “Heat” is Dennis “The Heat” Ovens.  Also, Annette: the ODC was wrong – Puleo was on the team as Baggish couldn’t travel.)   

Austria beat #4 Belgium 2-0.

Austria’s Mensur Suljovic spanked Kim Huybrechts 4-1 to become the first non-seeded player to win a singles.  Huybrechts averaged 108+ with 3-T80’s. Suljovic was just shy of 108.  So much for averages.  Austria’s Rowby-John Rodriguez beat Dimitri Van den Burg 4-2.  Van den Burg played terrible (missing 11 doubles).  This and Rowby John less so.  They traded breaks level at 1 with Rowby John winning two and moving to 3-1.    

Second Session

#6 Scotland beat Poland 2-0.

Scotland’s Peter Wright took the measure of Krzysztof Kciuk 4-3 when he achieved the first brake of throw in the game.  Kciuk had one at tops for the match.  Scotland’s John Henderson overcame Krzysztof Ratajski 4-2.  Big John won the first leg in 23 darts, then the second in less.  Henderson missed 15 darts at doubles – so, he’s no longer 0-4 against Ratajski.  Neither player was comfortable with doubles.  “Welcome to the C league finals.”  

#8 Germany vs. Japan: 2-1.

Gabriel Clemens eked a “W” despite missing 25 doubles against Matsuda Jun 4-2.  Jun didn’t show up for the first two legs (66 average), then came back to level with a 187 check.  In the 5th leg he had a dart but Clemens’ pair of T80s allowed him to steal the leg.  In the decider Jun had a dart to extend.  He didn’t.  Yoshihisa Baba laid a hiding on Max Hopp 4-0.  In leg l, Baba won the race to double 1.  Following that, he used 118 and 125-check to move up one away and converted.  Quoting Wayne Mardle on Max Hopp’s game, “A stinker.” Doubles: Germany took the doubles 4-2.  Max Hopp smelled better in the pairs.  Not Chanel# 5 but also not Saturday night at Tim’s Bar Beer in Pattaya.  He got his grove back when he tossed a 168 to set up a double. 

#3 Netherlands vs. Singapore – 2-0.

Michael van Gerwen over Paul Lim 4-0.  MVG started with a T80 and never slowed down.  Dirk van Duijvenbode squeezed out a 4-3 win over Harith Lim. van Duijvenbode won only because someone had to.  Jackass announcer alert.  With the match level at 3 and Lim with darts the jackass said, “Can Lom hold to even?”   

#2 Wales vs. Lithuania.

Gerwyn Price was workman like beating Mindaugas Barauskas 4-2.  Darius Labanauskas beat Jonny Clayton 4-2.  Doubles: Wales escapes 4-3 as Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas was brilliant in a losing cause.

Semi-finals & final

First Session action starts at 8 a.m. EDT (5 a.m. PDT)

Before the Cazoo World Cup started the Old Dart Coach promised a buffet of glorious, delectable items for your consumption.  To this point it’s been the more like what’s left for the last customer in the Golden Corral.  Today, it’s Tomahawk Steak, caviar and the finest of the brewery’s art.

By the end of Day 3, what once was a buffet of 32 teams has been narrowed down to but four choices.  The big darting fish have devoured the small.  It is the nature of things.  For 24-teams it’ll be “wait until next year” while for the surviving four the cup is within reach.

#5 Northern Ireland vs. Austria. 

This Northern Ireland pair return to the quarters since they were semifinalist in 2016 – breaking 4 first or second round exits.  Northern Ireland makes its first visit to the quarters.  Mensur Suljovic & Rowby-John Rodrigues make their fourth visit (2016, 2017, 2019) to the quarters.  Upset alert – if Rowby- John settles down. . 

#1 England vs. #8 Germany.  

For England it’s business as usual as they’ve been here with one exception in 2019 when Michael Smith and Rob Cross represented.  Those two are gone.  The German crowd was strangely silent in their battle and struggle against Japan.  The Germans aren’t scoring and not doubling which means a loss yet again, just as was the case against England in 2015.  England rolls.

#2 Wales vs. #7Australia.  

The Aussie pair returns to the quarters.  They are playing with passion for the late Kyle Anderson.  England’s flat.  As the ODC said, “Wales is there to be beat.  Take #7 Australia.  

#6 Scotland vs. #3 Netherlands. 

The Scotland duo have erased the memories of their second place exit from the World Cup last year. MvG looked good but Dirk van Duijvenbode not so much.  The winner of this one will depend on how Henderson and Dirk van Duijvenbode play.  MvG will perform.

Only a fool would predict the final outcome (but, alas, one must).  The format: 2-sinlgles, one double and reverse singles with the first to 4 the winner.

Austria over #5 Northern Ireland.

#1 England over #8 Germany.

#7 Australia over #2 Wales

#3 Netherlands over #6 Scotland

Semis 

Austria over England

Netherlands over Australia

Final

Netherlands wins! 

Stay thirsty my friends.

 

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.