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Column #HR430 TGIF at the World Cup… the “Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

Saturday, September 30, 2023
Column HR430 
TGIF at the World Cup… the “Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

To put Friday at the World Cup XXIII in perspective imagine someone that has grown up on a ranch or watches Yellowstone.  To put it delicately, it’s the day that some baby bulls undergo the “ultimate equipment change” while others can look forward to becoming fathers.

On this Friday, with Freddy Kruger lurking (“let’s get in the running car – no, we’ll hide behind the chainsaws”), the team event kicked off the day when the herd was culled from 16 to down to who would play for the gold.  Later in the day the men’s singles would play quarter final matches, followed by the pairs final for both men and women.

The late Sid Waddell is oft quoted as saying of darts, “It’s a funny old game.”  It’s a funny old game because a team or player can go from the penthouse to the outhouse in the blink of an eye.

The USA ladies proved that as a team after they leapt into the round of 16 beating Switzerland 9-7.  Every player had at least one win with Paul Murphy and Marlise Kiel breaking the tie at 7 for the win.  Paula made it 8-7 when Keil followed by coming from behind as Sarah Bartlome missed 9 darts from 50 allowing Keil to use one to nail d16 for the “W”.

There was no doubt that England was not only the ladies’ team to beat but the team to beat for the overall gold.  They are well on their way to gold in singles and doubles with the 4-team gold just a matter of time.  They looked the part when they dismantled the USA women in the quarter finals.

In the 4-person event each team needs a stopper – that one player that can stop a slide.  Then USA fell behind 3-nil as Lorraine Winstanley, Beau Greaves and Claire Brookin scored convincing wins.  Brookin’s was sloppy as Marlise Keil couldn’t halt the run, missing 4 from 40.  Paula Murphy stopped the slide when she beat Deta Hedman.

At 3-1, in stepped the England stopper Beau Greaves beating Carolyn Mars followed by Winstanley beating Marlise Kiel extending the lead to 5-1.  Cali West and Paula Murphy got wins narrowing the gap to 5-3.  Then the “fit hit the sham” – each of the English had wins (three without a USA double attempt).  Claire Brookin got the winning leg in 30 darts after Carolyn Mars couldn’t extend with 6 from 80.  Time for a USA team meeting at the Prince George.

It’s been almost 200-plus words since the Old Dart Coach used the phrase “from the penthouse to the outhouse”.  But that describes what happened to the women of England when they played Wales for a spot in the finals.  Lorraine Winstanley gave England a 1-nil lead when up stepped Beau Greaves to face Rhian O’Sullivan who Greaves has beaten like an egg in the past.  O’Sullivan’s first 12 darts left her at 36 which she closed.  Beau the stopper lost.  Wales collected 2 more wins to lead 3-1.  O’Sullivan collected another win making the Wesch lead 6-5, which Greaves made 6-5.

In 33 darts Wales made it 8-5 denying England a double.  Beau Greaves was next up to save the day.  Not this time.  Alannah Waters-Evans opened a can of “WA” leaving 32 with Greave at 158.  With 6 darts Alannah Waters-Evans gave Greaves her second loss of the match, sending England to the Prince George for a pint or two (possibly with the USA ladies).

Ireland’s Robyn Byrne and Aoife McCormack each won three of the 9 legs for Ireland to beat Sweden 9-6 sending them to the finals to face Wales.  The Netherlands was trailing Sweden 6-4 when Dutchman Wesley Plaisier and Jelle Klaasen took 2 each and Ryan De Vreede added one for the for 9-6 win.  Klaassen and Plaisier each had 3 wins.

Netherlands will face England in the final as England simply overpowered Australia 9-5.  England trailed early 2-1 then rallied with 4 on the trot using 14, 14, 13 and 19 darts.  From that point it was over.

Beau Greaves and Deta Hedman didn’t spend a lot of time crying about their loss in the 4-person.  They very simply overpowered the Finish pair of Kirsi Viinkainen and Sara Sauvola 6-1 to claim the pairs title.  The only leg England lost was a nifty 14-darter where Kirsi Viinikainen took out 90.  For “The Queen” Deta Hedman this would be her fourth pairs gold, joining Mandy Solomons (1995), Trina Gulliver (2011 & 2013) and now with Beau Greaves.  Hedman captured a singles gold in 2013 and one in team in 2015.  WOW!

The men’s final became a blowout after New Zealand (Ben Robb and Haupai Puha) overcame an early 2-1 deficit with a display of power reeling off 5 in a row with legs of 16, 16, 15, 15 and 18 allowing Scotland (Davie Kirwan and Danny Trueman) only one double.  That came in the last leg when the Scots missed three from 40.  The Kiwi’s captured the first World Cup gold ever for the homeland.  Good on ya.

In the greater scheme of things, the England women have wrapped up their 13th overall gold run.  With Hedman and Greaves both in the semis of the singles and a current points lead they will be impossible to stop.  The men’s gold is up for grabs between England and the Netherlands.  England will have to win the 4-person, then hope Carlos Arola (Catalonia) beats Netherlands’ Berry Van Peer in the singles semifinal.  If Netherlands win the 4-person, the English are DOA.

Be fun on finals day tomorrow.

Stay thirsty my friends.


  • Howie Reed

    Astute, often controversial, and always humorous, the Old Dart Coach, Howie Reed (a former rodeo cowboy and advertising executive), is heralded as the Dean of Darts Chroniclers - the most prolific and widely followed writer ever about our sport. He goes back decades with the legends and knows where the skeletons are buried (just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers!). Here are four well-known facts about the Old Dart Coach: 1) he is a Republican, 2) he loves the ladies, 3) he can drink most anybody under the table, and 4) he throws darts as bad as Dartoid.