ENGLAND ESCAPE SPANISH UPSET IN BETWAY WORLD CUP OF DARTS
 

HISTORY was almost repeated in the Betway World Cup of Darts as reigning champions England narrowly avoided an upset against Spain on Friday night, as they set up a second round tie with China in Frankfurt.

Spain had defied the odds with a stunning win over England in the inaugural PDC World Cup of Darts in 2010, when Antonio Alcinas and Carlos Rodriguez famously knocked out Phil Taylor and James Wade.

A high-quality contest at the Eissporthalle saw Alcinas and new partner Cristo Reyes push Taylor and Adrian Lewis - who have won the title in three of the last four years - all the way to a deciding leg in a thriller.

Taylor had taken out a superb 128 bull finish earlier in the game, and helped to set up Lewis on 40 in the decider, before the two-time World Champion hit tops with his third dart as England moved through.

"They put us under pressure from the start and they were brilliant," said Taylor. "We were hitting doubles with our last darts and it was giving us a heart attack!

"They've beaten us before and I knew they were confident of beating us again. I think it was a cracking game and it's livened the tournament up a little bit - if Adrian had missed at the end there I think we'd have gone out.

"It's a different format now with the Singles and Doubles games, and it's a leveller. Sometimes I've done well in the Singles and Adrian's had a bad game or Adrian's played well and I've had a bad game, so we'll see what happens tomorrow."


The reigning champions now meet China in round two, after debutants Yuanjun Liu and Wenge Xie knocked out Czech Republic pair Michal Kocik and Pavel Drtil 5-3, leading 3-0 before seeing their rivals level, only to take the next two legs as Liu's 100 finish secured a first World Cup win for their nation.

Number four seeds Northern Ireland enjoyed a 5-2 win over Japan as debutant Daryl Gurney and experienced Brendan Dolan - who sealed victory by taking out 95 on the bull - moved through to a clash with neighbours Republic of Ireland in the last 16.

"I got thrown in at the deep end but I tried to back Brendan up because he's superb," said Gurney. "I knew that if we could take what we've done on the practice board onto the stage we had a good chance.

"There were a couple of missed doubles but we got the win and we can always build on it. It's a new experience and I learned a lot."


Ireland's Mick McGowan also took out a match-winning bullseye - for a 94 checkout - as they defeated Hong Kong's Scott MacKenzie, who finished 135 in leg four, and Ting Chi Royden Lam in a deciding leg.

Number eight seeds Austria whitewashed Italy 5-0 as Mensur Suljovic and Rowby-John Rodriguez progressed to a meeting with Singapore, who saw Paul Lim and Harith Lim punish South Africa for 14 missed doubles with a 5-1 triumph.

World Cup debutant Gerwyn Price took out 150 to seal Wales' 5-1 win over Finland, and the former rugby ace will join partner Mark Webster in round two against Canada on Saturday.

"It was a pretty good finish at the end and I was glad that the 150 went in," said Price. "I thought we started off a bit slowly and got a bit better but they came back into it.

"There's a lot more pressure playing in Pairs, for Mark and for Wales, but it will be easier tomorrow. Hopefully we can go on and play a bit better, and I'm sure we can do pretty well in this tournament."


Canada's John Part and Ken MacNeil bounced back from last year's first round defeat to New Zealand by defeating debutants Greece 5-2, despite John Michael taking out a 160 finish during the contest.

The second round will be split across two sessions on Saturday, with matches featuring two Singles games with the possibility of a Doubles decider.

Betway World Cup of Darts
Friday June 3
First Round x8
Czech Republic 3-5 China
Greece 2-5 Canada
Republic of Ireland 5-4 Hong Kong
South Africa 1-5 Singapore
Northern Ireland 5-2 Japan
Wales 5-1 Finland
England 5-4 Spain
Austria 5-0 Italy
Best of nine legs Doubles

Saturday June 4
Afternoon Session (2pm local time)

Second Round x4    
Belgium v Hungary
Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland
Wales v Canada
Austria v Singapore

Evening Session (8pm local time)
Second Round x4
Scotland v Norway
Australia v Denmark
England v China
Netherlands v Philippines

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MATCH INFORMATION
Czech Republic v China
Michal Kocik & Pavel Drtil v Yuanjun Liu & Wenge Xie

0-1 - Kocik misses double ten, and Liu hits the same bed to give China the lead.
0-2 - Xie takes out double eight as he breaks throw to double China's advantage.
0-3 - Xie hits double five as China win a third leg.
1-3 - Kocik finishes 78 to win the Czech Republic their first leg.
2-3 - Both Chinese players miss doubles before Kocik hits tops to continue the Czech Republic's revival.
3-3 - Drtil finishes 86 in two darts to level the game.
3-4 - Liu misses tops for a 157 finish, but Xie steps in to finish double ten.
3-5 - Liu checkks out 100 on tops to claim a memorable win for China.

Greece v Canada
John Michael & Ioannis Selachoglou v John Part & Ken MacNeil

0-1 - MacNeil posts double ten to give Canada the opening leg.
0-2 - Michael misses the bull to finish 95, and Part takes out 100 on double ten to give Canada a second leg.
0-3 - Michael fires in a 180, but Part once again hits double ten as Canada move three legs clear.
1-3 - Michael takes out a brilliant 160 checkout to give Greece their opening leg.
2-3 - Selachoglu lands double 18 to continue the Greek revival.
2-4 - Part finishes double nine to move Canada to the brink of victory.
2-5 - MacNeil seals victory on double 16.

Republic of Ireland v Hong Kong
William O'Connor & Mick McGowan v Ting Chi Royden Lam & Scott MacKenzie

1-0 - Double 18 gives Ireland the opening leg.
2-0 - O'Connor finishes double 16 to double their lead.
2-1 - Lam lands a 180 before MacKenzie takes out double four to win Hong Kong their first leg.
2-2 - MacKenzie finishes a brilliant 135 on the bull to level the game.
2-3 - MacKenzie fires in a 180 before finishing tops to move Hong Kong ahead.
3-3 - McGowan responds for Ireland by finishing 82 on tops.
4-3 - McGowan hits Ireland's first 180 before O'Connor hits double top to move Ireland back ahead.
4-4 - McGowan misses three match darts, a doubles 18 and nine, and MacKenzie lands double 11 to send the game into a decider.
5-4 - McGowan seals victory by taking out 94 on the bull to end a see-saw contest.

South Africa v Singapore
Devon Petersen & Graham Filby v Paul Lim & Harith Lim

0-1 - Singapore take out 36 to break in the opening leg.
0-2 - Harith Lim hits a 180 and double top to move Singapore two legs up.
0-3 - Missed doubles from Petersen prove costly as Harith Lim hits tops to continue Singapore's strong start.
0-4 - Harith Lim misses double ten to finish 140, but his team-mate Paul Lim steps in on double ten.
1-4 - South Africa win their first leg as Filby hits tops.
1-5 - Filby misses three darts at doubles to keep the game alive, and Paul Lim finishes double nine to seal victory for Singapore.

Northern Ireland v Japan
Brendan Dolan & Daryl Gurney v Keita Ono & Haruki Muramatsu

1-0 - Both Northern Irish players initially miss double 19 with a combined four darts to win the leg, but Ono misses tops to allow Gurney back in on double 16.
1-1 - Dolan lands a 180, but Ono finishes 80 on tops to level.
2-1 - Gurney takes out 89 on double 16 to give Northern Ireland their second leg.
2-2 - Muramatsu finishes double six to square the contest for Japan.
3-2 - Dolan lands a 180 before finishing a third-dart double 16 to move Northern Ireland back ahead.
4-2 - Ono misses three darts at double 16, and Dolan breaks throw by hitting the same bed, again with his third dart.
5-2 - Dolan takes out 95 on the bull to seal Northern Ireland's second round tie with the Republic of Ireland.

Wales v Finland
Mark Webster & Gerwyn Price v Kim Viljanen & Marko Kantele

1-0 - Webster lands double top to give Wales the opening leg.
2-0 - Double six from Price sees Wales double their lead.
3-0 - Debutant Price takes out 60 on tops to win a third leg for the 2010 finalists.
4-0 - Double ten sees Price hit the winning double for a third successive leg.
4-1 - Kantele lands a 180 before Viljanen lands double eight to give Finland their first leg.
5-1 - Price caps his World Cup debut in style with a brilliant 150 checkout on double 15 to seal Wales' win.

England v Spain
Phil Taylor & Adrian Lewis v Cristo Reyes & Antonio Alcinas

0-1 - Alcinas takes out 16 to win the opening leg for Spain against the throw.
1-1 - Lewis fires in a 180 before Taylor takes out 46 on double 16 to level.
2-1 - Reyes responds for Spain with a 177 score, but Taylor takes out 128 on the bull to move England ahead.
2-2 - Reyes finishes double 16 to level for Spain.
3-2 - Alcinas hits a 180, but Taylor's fine finishing continues as he lands double 16 to edge the holders back ahead.
3-3 - Spain hit back once again, with Alcinas' second 180 followed by a 68 finish from Reyes.
4-3 - Reyes misses tops to finish 114, and Lewis holds his nerve to take out 50 on double ten.
4-4 - Taylor lands a 180, but misses a dart at tops for the match as Alcinas steps in following Reyes' earlier miss at tops to hit the same bed with his third dart as he sends the game into a decider.
5-4 - England are first to a finish, and Lewis finishes double top with his third dart to secure a nervy win for England.

Austria v Italy
Mensur Suljovic & Rowby-John Rodriguez v Daniele Petri & Michel Furlani

1-0 - Rodriguez hits a 180 before Suljovic hits double nine to win the opening leg.
2-0 - Rodriguez finishes 58 to double Austria's lead.
3-0 - Rodriguez scrambles home double three to move his nation into a three-leg cushion.
4-0 - Furlani hits a 180 but misses the bull to finish 130, and Rodriguez takes out 124 on double 11.
5-0 - Suljovic hits double ten to seal Austria's second round spot.

Match Stats

Ave 180s Finishing       Ave 180s Finishing
77.06 - 3/7 Czech Republic 3-5 China 80.81 0 5/19
76.96 1 2/4 Greece 2-5 Canada 81.85 0 5/15
82.09 1 5/12 Republic of Ireland 5-4 Hong Kong 79.40 2 4/10
75.22 0 1/15 South Africa 1-5 Singapore 81.28 1 5/10
85.80 2 5/16 Northern Ireland 5-2 Japan 79.98 0 2/7
84.52 0 5/9 Wales 5-1 Finland 77.17 1 1/5
90.99 2 5/11 England 5-4 Spain 95.68 2 4/10
85.40 1 5/16 Austria 5-0 Italy 76.93 1 0/1