Day three of the World Cup of Darts was split into two sessions and change in format was brought in from last year. The pairs will now split into singles matches playing to the best of 7, if necessary the match will be decided with a doubles match. This format should favour the stronger pairs as they are no longer relying ion their partner to preserve the standard.
Belgium’s Huybrecht’s brothers got the action under way with a mouth-watering match against a confident Spain duo after the 5-0 whitewash of Norway in round one. Ronnie Huybrechts dominated Cristo Reyes in the opening singles match after going 1-0 down, ‘The Rebel’ stole the third leg away from Reyes after fighting back from the Spaniards 180 to his double 16 to break his throw. Huybrechts held with a 124 (T20, T16, D8) in the forth leg to extend his lead before killing the game after Reyes wasted another 180 with reckless finishing.
Kim completed the route to the quarter finals with a convincing 4-1 win over Antonio Alcinas as he took out a 100 and a 110 checkout, Alcinas did fight back in the fourth leg with a 136 finish (T20, T20, D8) to at least put some pressure on the Belgian boss. But Huybrechts would shake it off with some high quality scoring in the fifth leg, he wasted 9 darts at double at double but Alcinas was languishing behind so he had the time and space to finish the match.
Result: Belgium 2-0 Spain
The second match saw Australia take on Gibraltar on the back of their history making win over Italy. Whitlock hit three 180’s as he overpowered an enthusiastic Dyson Parody. The pair missed a combined 24 darts at double In the opening leg but Whitlock was on hand to hit double 1 to settle the restless crowd. Legs two and three went to Whitlock without allowing Parody a chance to fight back. Whitlock was clearly out of sorts on his doubles as he missed another six match darts in the fourth leg but was able to rescue the leg when Parody couldn’t hit double 16.
Next the spotlight shifted to Paul Nicholson and after a dreadful year on the pro circuit the pressure was on. After falling behind in the second leg, the Aussie fought back for a 4-3 triumph. His scoring was steady throughout the game, but he was sensational on the doubles. Nicholson didn’t miss a double before the sixth leg where he left the door ajar for Vilerio to sneak back into the match and make it 3-3. Nicholson hit a 180 in the crucial leg to give him some breathing room and finished with his fourth dart at a double to take Australia into the quarter finals.
Results: Australia 2-0 Gibraltar
Northern Ireland were the next seed to take centre stage, crushing New Zealand who took out John Part’s Canada in the previous round. Top marksman Brendan Dolan lost a nervy first leg as a result of his dodgy scoring. He rescued the second leg to hold his throw with a classy 180, before replicating the leg to break throw in the third. His 13 dart leg in the fourth almost went unnoticed as he took out double 16 at the first time of asking. Rob Szabo squandered his chance to pull a leg back in the fifth as Dolan finished from 150 behind to settle the game at 4-1.
Mansell completed the domilition job on New Zealand as he romped to a 4-0 victory over Warren Parry. Mansell opened the scoreboard with 60 checkout and looked in control throughout. He took out a 100 in the second leg and continued his exploits on double top with a simple 41 checkout. Mansell compounded Parry’s misery with a 180 in the final leg completing the 4-0 walkover.
Results: Northern Ireland 2-0 New Zealand
Royden Lam was the first player from an unseeded nation to take a set off a professional player. Lam trounced William O’Connor 4-1 after the Irishman failed to find his feet. You have to give credit to Lam, he hit three 180’s and close out the game with a 121 checkout (T20, T11, D14). He claimed the opening two legs with ease before O’Connor halved the deficit. Lam went onto to hit that electrifying checkout that heaped all the pressure on Connie Finnan.
Scott MacKenzie took the opening leg after falling behind due to Finnan’s extravagant scoring. Finnan was all over the place with his finishing and allowed MacKenzie endless opportunities to take the game. He hit a 118 checkout, (20, T20, D19), in the second leg to double the lead before running away with the third. Finnan held his throw in the forth leg, broke back in the fifth and smashed through to level the game in the sixth. After MacKenzie missed 6 darts at double Finnan dispatched a double 10 to complete the astonishing comeback and take it to a deciding doubles match.
Royden Lam opened the drama filled decider by setting up his team-mate with a 180 to make it easy for MacKenzie. He made it 2-0 not long later hitting the double 2 to put his team in control. Finnan showed his class once again to hold throw and keep Ireland in the tie. When it really mattered William O’Connor produced the darts of the session, hitting two consecutive bulls-eyes and double 16 to pull Ireland level once again. Lam staved off Ireland once again with yet another break of throw taking a 3-2 lead. Lam missed two match darts to leave the door open for O’Connor to hit double and take the game to a final leg. After splitting into a thousand pieces after missing match darts for his singles game, the script couldn’t have been written better as MacKenzie hit T1, T17, D16 to send him into dreamland and the World Cup quarter finals.
Result: Hong Kong 2-1 Republic of Ireland