Scotland win first World Cup title
The Scottish duo of Gary Anderson and Peter Wright won the World Cup of Darts for the first time, defeating the brilliant Steve Lennon and Willie O’ Connor of Ireland 3-1 in the final.
Going into the tournament at a new venue at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, many expected the most wide-open World Cup ever with a potential new winner breaking the eight-year hold of England and the Netherlands. And so it proved, the tone was set on the first night and more shocks followed, finalists Republic of Ireland defeating both of the previous winners in style.
Sunday saw four unseeded teams joined by Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands and Scotland. Two of the surprise packages of the tournament met in the opening quarter-final, with Seigo Asada once again impressive on the scoring for Japan and Haruki Muramatsu winning the second rubber in a deciding leg to see off New Zealand’s Cody Harris and Haupai Puha.
They faced Scotland in the semi-finals after the highly-fancied Anderson and Wright came through a quality dual with World Cup stalwarts Belgium. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ only missed two doubles in the opener to beat Kim Huybrechts 4-2, before ‘Snakebite’ averaged a superb 110 in beating Dimitri Van den Bergh by the same scoreline to put Scotland through.
Zoran Lerchbacher had improved from his performance in 2018, but faltered against Steve Lennon, missing 11 darts at doubles to allow the Republic to take the lead in their quarter-final. Mensur Suljović then produced a solid display against on out of sorts Willie O’Connor to send it to the pairs. The Irishmen came through it, though, ‘Hypercane’ and ‘The Gentle’ struggling to get going and only winning one leg.
Michael van Gerwen had been nowhere near his best in the early rounds for the Netherlands but had made it through with the help of debutant Jermaine Wattimena. His form didn’t improve against Canada, and young Tour Card holder Dawson Murschell scraped through their game 4-2 for a seismic shock.
Murschell’s teammate Jim Long had chances to send Canada through against all odds, but Wattimena found double 16 to set up a doubles decider, where the class of the Dutch shone through in a comfortable 4-1 win. That meant the semi-finals were set: Ireland and Japan looking to prevent a repeat of the 2018 final of Scotland against the Netherlands. Lucrative places in the Grand Slam of Darts were also up for grabs for the finalists.
They met in the last eight last year, and Scotland v Japan saw the same result but in a slightly different fashion as Anderson beat Asada 4-2 in a quality contest, the Japanese star looking to be more than capable of competing on the ProTour if he was to attend Q-School. Following that, Wright beat Muramatsu 4-1 to put Scotland through to their third World Cup final.
MVG and Lennon were both sat on tops in the deciding leg of their opening semi-final rubber, but the World Champion took it out to give his nation the lead. O’Connor beat Wattimena 4-2 and the Irishmen were inspired in the doubles, averaging over 100 in a stunning display which included two ton-plus finishes from Lennon.
They hadn’t been to the quarter-finals before this year, and were suddenly in the final after a brilliant run. A slightly different format in the final kicked off with a shock as back-to-back 12-darters from Gary Anderson weren’t enough in a 4-2 loss to Steve Lennon. However, Scotland won the next three rubbers with aplomb, Wright pinning tops to win his first SkySports event and second major overall, Anderson’s ninth. A fantastic World Cup, and a deserved title for Scotland after years of failure.
2019 BetVictor World Cup of Darts
Sunday June 9
Japan 2-0 New Zealand
Singles One: Seigo Asada 4-1 Cody Harris
Singles Two: Haruki Muramatsu 4-3 Haupai Puha
Scotland 2-0 Belgium
Singles One: Gary Anderson 4-2 Kim Huybrechts
Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Republic of Ireland 2-1 Austria
Singles One: Steve Lennon 4-1 Zoran Lerchbacher
Singles Two: William O’Connor 0-4 Mensur Suljović
Doubles: Republic of Ireland 4-0 Austria
Netherlands 2-1 Canada
Singles One: Michael van Gerwen 2-4 Dawson Murschell
Singles Two: Jermaine Wattimena 4-2 Jim Long
Doubles: Netherlands 4-1 Canada
Scotland 2-0 Japan
Singles One: Gary Anderson 4-2 Seigo Asada
Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-1 Haruki Muramatsu
Doubles: (Not Needed)
Republic of Ireland 2-1 Netherlands
Singles One: Steve Lennon 3-4 Michael van Gerwen
Singles Two: William O’Connor 4-1 Jermaine Wattimena
Doubles: Republic of Ireland 4-0 Netherlands
Scotland 3-1 Republic of Ireland
Singles One: Gary Anderson 2-4 Steve Lennon
Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-2 William O’Connor
Doubles: Scotland 4-0 Republic of Ireland
Singles Three: Peter Wright 4-1 Steve Lennon