Column #HR427 No sun for North America… Day 1
Tuesday, September 27, 2023
No sun for North America… Day 1
According to the weather reports from Esbjerg, Denmark, the first day of the WDF World Cup was a balmy 63 degrees and cloudy. In contrast, for the North Americans it was chilly under a grey sky – and that spelled doom for Canada and the USA in their quest for World Cup Gold.
Perchance the men (pairs) and lady’s (singles) players are currently in the King George Pub drowning their sorrows, talking “what if.”
You can’t win it on Day 1, but you can lose it. It will take a Herculaneum effort for either nation to bring home an overall Gold.
The cream rose to the top on Day 1.
The women’s semifinals on Saturday could have been an England vs. Belgium dustup. “Could have” is the operative phrase here. In the end, the semifinals on Saturday were darn near predictable, which is close enough for the Old Dart Coach. The women’s singles went as expected down to the final four with one surprise…
USA’s Paula Murphy made it to the top 16 only to lose to the Netherlands Anca Zijlstra 4-2. With the darts Murphy broke on top. Zijlstra held, then broke, then held again for a 3-2 lead. Zijlstra’s winning leg came in 25 darts where Murphy managed only three big trebles in 24 darts.
In the quarters Zijlstra had a 4-1 lead over Deta Hedman when she collapsed like a cheap suit in the rain. She did have three darts at 40 for the win but the overweight lady was singing. Zijlstra’s teammate (feel like a “Whoa, Man) Noa-Lynn Van Leuven dominated Belgium’s Patricia De Peuter 5-1, advancing to the semis.
The big surprise was Finland’s 51-year-old Kirsi Viinikainen, ranked #37 in the world. Viinikainen faced Belgium’s Katy Clarys in the race to 5 that was tied at 3 as each players held serve. Viinikainen used the break and hold for the 5-3 win and a date with Deta Hedman in the semifinals. Beau Greaves scooted through her half of the draw and will meet Noa-Lynn Van Leuven before a trip to the finals. Greaves is 2-nil against Noa-Lynn Van Leuven in their last two meetings. Greaves is 2-0 against darn near everybody. Look for an all-England final on Saturday.
Belgium currently leads the women’s standings with 20 points. That lead will disappear after the pairs tomorrow. England’s a big favorite to take the lady’s crown and the singles.
The men’s pairs was a disaster for North America with the USA going out quickly, leaving an entire afternoon to ponder. The Canadian pair of Russ Snook and Jake MacMillan were sailing along when they ran into Austria’s Hannes Schnier and Markus Straub. Snook and MacMillian broke out to a 3-1 lead after losing the first leg. In 20 and 19 darts the match was level. MacMillian used a T40 to leave Snook 121. Hannes Schnier’s T40 left his partner with 20. After Snook missed a dart at the bull for the win, Markus Straub used 1 dart for d10 and the match.
The finals of the men’s pairs will see New Zealand’s Haupai Puha and Ben Robb against the duo of Danny Trueman and Davie Kirwan of Scotland – where men are men and sheep nervous. Haupai Puha and Ben Robb took out Hannes Schnier and Markus Straub, where they led 4-0 winning 5-2.
On the morrow the ladies’ teams and the men’s singles are on tap. The team event sucks. It’s 4 players playing one leg each until their team reaches 9 legs or best of 17. It’s an event that should have been tossed in the waste bin years ago. Maybe substitute mixed doubles.
Tomorrow’s women’s team play has 8 groups playing round robin with 2 from each group advancing. Canada has drawn into a group with Switzerland, Belgium, Jersy and Faroe Islands which – if they beat either Switzerland or Belgium – they’ll move to the round of 16.
The USA would seem to be safe in a group composed of Sweden, Lithuania,
Spain, India and Malta. Sweden has veteran Vicky Pruim who has the ability to carry a team. The Spanish ladies can be spicy. The USA will need a reversal of their performance in the singles as will Canada.
For the men’s singles the plan is simple: stay away from the Netherlands and play better.
Long time pal, E. Ron Deane, had a reaction to yesterday’s effort: “Great read on the Memories, Coach”. Here’s another…
The first time that Russia sent a team to the World Cup they were under the direction of the Assistant Director of Sports for the USSR. Serge (pronounced Sir Gay not SURGE) was as cool as a cucumber and dressed to the nines which alone set him apart from your usual darting crowd.
Serge made it a point to mingle while making friends. Besides the 4-man team Serge had three drop-dead gorgeous lady’s that would have been standouts in any Las Vegas show. They simply took your breath away.
Not yet being the “Old” Dart Coach, I mentioned how beautiful the girls were.
“You want one?”
“HUH?” was my response, full of astonishment.
“For you, no charge. You can have all weekend. Nice girls”.
The Dart Coach declined. Looking back on the memory, the Old Dart Coach of today wants to drive a stake through his heart. Like then, now the ODC couldn’t wield the hammer.
Ain’t no sunshine when it rains… and it was raining Ls for the North American Darters inside the Blue Water Dokken.
But hope springs eternal as there’s always tomorrow.
Stay thirsty my friends.
Latest posts by Howie Reed (see all)
- Column #HR438 It’s Thanksgiving… the time to give thanks. - November 21, 2023
- Column #HR437 Geezer Gazette: Volume II – Issue III - November 16, 2023
- Column #HR436 “My God, the Bridge!” - November 9, 2023