World Cup of Darts 2020 brief review.
In a year that most people will want to forget, it was great to see the World Cup of Darts held in Austria over the weekend, albeit in front of no crowd and fake crowd noises. There were certainly some highlights but also some lowlights too in a competition that had the pre-tournament favourites, and second seed Wales taking out the title from the 31 other nations that competed.
There were a couple of teams that weren’t able to make the tournament due to Covid-19 issues. Team Singapore was replaced by Portugal and Latvia replaced the Chinese team unable to travel to Austria. Scotland would have been close to favourites but lost two big players with both Gary Anderson and the World Champ, Peter Wright pulling out prior and being replaced by Robert Thornton and John Henderson. Thornton won his singles match against Jonny Clayton of Wales to push their 1/4 final to a team’s decider, but that’s where it ended for team Scotland as they lost 4-0 in the double’s decider.
Disappointing in my view were the two Irish teams with Northern Ireland bailing out in the first round to Canada 5-2 and the Republic of Ireland losing by the same score to eventual quarter finalists Australia. The third seeded Netherlands were also an underperformer as they failed to even make the semi-final. With MVG (Michael van Gerwen) form hot and cold in recent weeks, he really needed a partner a bit stronger than Danny Noppert who on his own comments lacked belief in winning his round of 16 match against Brazil’s Jesus Noguera as he’d “never beaten him before”.
Australia shone bright in the tournament as Simon Whitlock continued his top form. But Damon Heta’s game against Krzysztof Kciuk of Poland showed why the Aussie is world class and made the move to the PDC Q School last year after some solid wins at the Brisbane Open last year. Heta was averaging over 150 after his first two legs and made Kciuk look like a local pub player as he piled the pressure on him. He eventually beat him 4-1 after cooling the jets in the last few legs.
Also impressing was the German team of Gabriel Clemens and Max Hopp. This team knocked off Finland and Greece in the earlier rounds, then knocked over the Netherlands 2-1 to eventually lose in the semi-final against eventual winners Wales.
But Wales proved too strong in the final to win 3-0 over Michael Smith and Rob Cross of England and didn’t even need the crossover singles games to take the title. Jonny Clayton continued his solid form that saw him reach the semi final’s of both the UK Open and European Championship earlier this year. Also Gerwyn Price is proving he is certainly at the top of his game with the World Championship’s just around the corner a cheeky bet at $6 odd’s may be well worthwhile.
Congratulations Wales on a solid win in what was a very entertaining three days of darts.
All the best and straight arrows everyone.
Owner – Bullseye Darts