Darts fans were jumping with delight when both sides of the Irish divide made to through to round two, setting up a clash between to pair. Republic of Ireland avenged last year’s astonishing defeat to Hong Kong by giving the pair a taste of their own medicine. Northern Ireland would end their chances of a first World Cup victory by putting them to bed in straight sets. The two emerging stars met in the opening set of the contest. Daryl Gurney putting in a comprehensive performance to give his team the slender advantage.
Two wise heads would clash in the second game of the session. Mick McGowan has enjoyed a mini resurgence in the past year or so, qualifying for the 2016 World Championships and taking the place of Connie Finnan in the Irish line-up. His loss to a lacklustre Brendan Dolan confirmed Republic of Ireland’s exit from the World Cup, but the ‘History Maker’ will need to improve dramatically if Northern Ireland are to make an impact this time around.
Former World Cup runners-up Belgium booked their place in tomorrow’s quarter-finals. Clinical doubling from the Huybrechts brothers was the difference between the two sides as the younger of the siblings raced into an early lead. Hungary’s Nandor Bezzeg was the surprise package of the opening day but could do little to halt the rampaging Huybrechts who missed just one shot at double.
Elder brother Ronny was next to grace the Frankfurt stage against young pretender Patrik Kovacs. The 20-year-old Hungarian took to opening leg in smashing style before ‘The Rebel’ levelled things up. Much like former Premier League contestant Kim, Ronny would clinically finish his check-outs giving his inexperienced opponent little leighway on the doubles. Huybrechts would eventually wrap up the match 4-1, and identical score to his brother.
Wales were the first seeds to drop out of the tournament after John Part rolled back the years guarantee Canada a first ever quarter final appearance. Mark Webster was dispatched with minimum of fuss by the three time Champions of the world. Part’s Canadian counterpart Ken MacNeil could not kill off the contest at first time of asking, Gerwyn Price whitewashed the world number 83, hitting six perfect darts in the process.
As the match went to a third and deciding set, with Part’s experience proving the deciding factor. The now Sky Sports pundit and commentator smashed in the highest checkout of the afternoon, a scintillating 161, giving Canada the edge. ‘The Darth Maple’ would continue to entertain the boisterous German crowd, firing a 180, and the pivotal double 12 that would put Wales on the brink of an early exit. The Canadian pair wrapped up the win two legs later, and will now look forward to returning to the stage tomorrow afternoon.
Austria were the final pair to book their place in the quarter finals. Suljovic and Rodriguez hand out a drubbing to a poor Italy side last night, but found it much hard going against an experienced Singapore pair. Self-designated captain of the duo stepped up to the mark against 62-year-old Paul Lim. The two time major semi-finalist had taken first three legs and looked to have polished off the victory before Lim took out 94 to save the match. Unfortunately, ‘the Singapore slinger’ couldn’t keep up the standard as Mensur handed his nation the advantage with a 4-2 triumph.
Early on it looked although Rowby-John Rodriguez may fold under the pressure. Paul Lim’s namesake Harith more than match the youngster throughout the contest but in the end Little John’s consistent scoring proved decisive. He hit five 140 shots to finally kill of a resilient Singapore side.
Round of 16 session one Results
Northern Ireland 2-0 Republic of Ireland
Belgium 2-0 Hungary
Wales 1-2 Canada
Austria 2-0 Singapore