Column #HR 346 van Gerwen triumphs… and…World Cup for DUMMIES!
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
van Gerwen triumphs… and World Cup for DUMMIES!
The 11,000 fans that packed the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin for Premier League finals night settled into a party mood as the two semifinal matches both resulted in 11-4 blow outs. Little did they know, or care, that the final would be an all-time “slam bam thank you ma’am” classic. It was that and more as Michael van Gerwen and Joe Cullen faced off. Cullen had just squeezed into the final four with d16 to nail the coffin lid on Peter Smith’s hopes.
The final saw more escapes than when Little Eva was tied to the train tracks. Houdini would be proud. The statistics for the two were almost exactly the same as they should be in an 11-10 shootout.
Cullen took the first leg in 11, then missed 3 at 32 for 2-0. van Gerwen used 13 and 14 darts for a 3-1 lead. 13 & 17 gave van Gerwen a 5-3 lead. Cullen stole a couple of legs with 141 and 114 checks but still trailed 6-5. Cullen briefly took the lead 7-6 when a van Gerwen 13-darter brought the match even. Cullen then responded with his own 13-darter to go ahead again, 8-7. van Gerwen missed a pair at 32, nailing the 3rd to level.
Cullen then used 15 darts to move to 9 but could only watch helplessly as van Gerwen brought the match even again in 14.
van Gerwen followed with a 12-darter, including a 92 peg, to move within in one of the title. But Cullen used a T34 to set up 36, which he took, to force the decider.
Going first after 12, Cullen wanted 68 as MvG sat on 28. A missed d16 proved the fly in the Cullen ointment – as van Gerwen then nailed 28 in 1 for the title and £275,000.
THE WORLD CUP
Some get all tingly seeing the first robin of spring. For the Old Dart Coach, it’s the PDC World Cup. He predicts that this year will be (write this down!) the “most wide open, slam bang, doggone, like none other you have ever seen in all your ‘born puttogethers’ event in the history of darts.”
Think not? If so, you must believe that darts and beer don’t go to together like Mom and apple pie.
Almost immediately after writing the above, the ODC heard a voice in his head. Not an unusual occurrence…
The voice sounded exactly like Vinny Gambino in My Cousin Vinny when questioning Ms. Mona Lisa Vito he asked, “Are you sure?” Unlike Ms. Vito, the ODC admits that his words above and some of his predictions below may be a bit exaggerated. The truth is he has no idea what will happen or who will win.
The oddsmakers see it as a contest between Wales (2-1), England (9-2), Netherlands (9-2) and defending champion Scotland (11-1).
This Thursday, 16 of the 32 two-man man teams will toe the oche in the 2022 PDC World Cup of darts. “Not all can win nor are expected to,” writes Captain Oblivious. Maybe 5 teams have a chance to win as parity, experience and no dominate player or players open things up. There’s always a chance that a non-seeded team will get a draw that puts them into the mix.
The opening round is doubles best of nine legs which could open the door for some surprises. Defending champion Scotland only gets an #8 seed based on combined earnings.
#1 England (7/2): (Michael Smith and James Wade) will have to depend on the red hot Michael Smith with James Wade picking up the outs.
#2 Wales (11/4): (Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton). Lots to like here. This duo won it in 2020 and should repeat. Clayton’s electric and when Price isn’t whining, he’s tops.
#3 Netherlands (9/2): (Danny Noppert and Dirk van Duijvenbode). Seems a stretch at best. Michael van Gerwen opted out for “Car Pool Tunnel Surgery” after his Premier League win. In steps van Duijvenbode. An opening win against Brazil brings “Oh Canada” (Jeff Smith and Matt Campbell). That’s if Canada gets by Ireland – with William O’Connor and Steve Lennon a semifinal team in 2019.
#4 Belgium (10-1): (Dimitri Van den Bergh and Kim Huybrechts). van den Bergh comes off a win in the Nordic event where he beat Michael Smith (11-4) and Gary Anderson (11-5) for the title. Huybrechts plays his best in the World Cup. They’re in an easy group with only #5 Australia (Damon Heta and Simon Whitlock) standing in the way of a final four.
#8 Scotland (11-1): (Peter Wright and John Henderson). The defending champs get no respect. They won from the #6 seed last year. It falls on the large shoulders on John Henderson. As he goes, so goes Scotland.
Canada (80-1): (Jeff Smith and Matt Campbell) will love the doubles first round – but not the usually sharp boys from Ireland.
USA (100-1): (Danny Baggish and Jules van Dongen) get no break as they face Poland and the Polish Eagle Krzysztof Ratajski in round one. This looks like a “one and done.”
Thursday June 16 Order of Play:
Denmark vs. Singapore (Paul Lim and Harith Lim). Like the “Not Brothers Lim’ to prevail move on to meet Germany.
New Zealand vs. Switzerland. Teams return to the world cup after a break. Like the Kiwi’s.
Republic of Ireland vs. Canada. Going out in the limb to sing “Oh Canada!”
Austria (22-1) vs. Finland. Mensur Suljović and Rowby-John Rodriguez took Austria to the final last year taking out Belgium, Northern Ireland and England. Draw not as friendly this time as a win gets them get Wales.
#6 Northern Ireland vs. Gibraltar. The Irish always overachieves with Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan. Easy peasy.
#2 Wales vs. Philippines will indicate how far Wales will travel.
#7 Germany vs. Spain. With the home field advantage and kind draw Germany should advance to the round of 8 where they would face Wales. Spain should prove no problem.
#3 Netherlands (9-2) vs. Brazil. Will be the first test for Danny Noppert and Dirk van Duijvenbode as they face the guys from Brazil. The Samba Guys just can’t draw and again go out first round.
Let the games begin!
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Stay thirsty my friends and enjoy!