GERMANY dumped sixth seeds Northern Ireland out of the Betway World Cup of Darts for a second consecutive year as they came from behind to record a famous 2-1 win in front of a passionate home crowd in Frankfurt.
The 32-nation tournament continued with eight second round games played across two sessions on Saturday, as the young German pair of Max Hopp and Martin Schindler lit up the Eissporthalle.
Daryl Gurney got Northern Ireland off to a dream start in the opening tie, whitewashing Schindler with a clinical display which saw the Premier League star miss just two darts at double.
Hopp survived a match dart against Brendan Dolan before pinning double eight to claim a nail-biting 4-3 win to send the tie went all the way.
The doubles clash proved to be a fabulous contest with little to separate the sides before Hopp took out a stunning 100 finish with two darts to raise the roof in Frankfurt and set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash with the Netherlands.
“The crowd supported us all the way through and we are absolutely delighted to get the win,” said Hopp.
“It was a relief to survive the match darts against Brendan but once we got through to the doubles I told Martin we beat them last year so we can do it again.
“I was very glad to take out the 100 to get us through to the quarter-finals and now we will rest up for tomorrow and go again.
“It would be a dream come true to lift the World Cup trophy in front of our home crowd and that is what we will try to do.”
Defending champions Netherlands continued their quest for back-to-back titles as they swept aside South Africa 2-0.
Michael van Gerwen continued his relentless first round form to whitewash Liam O’Brien 4-0, depriving the South African to just one attempt at double as he put the Netherlands ahead in the tie.
Raymond van Barneveld finished the job with a 4-0 rout of Devon Petersen to continue the Netherlands impressive streak of not dropping a leg in this year’s tournament.
“It was comfortable for us today but you always have to make sure you focus,” said Van Barneveld.
“If I could pick any dart player in the world to team up with it would be Michael, he makes it look so easy.
“Tomorrow will be a very different game against Germany in front of their crowd but we smashed them in the Pairs last year but hopefully tomorrow we will get the job done before that.”
England avoided an upset against Singapore, holding their nerve under pressure in the doubles to edge through 2-1.
Crowd favourite Paul Lim rolled back the years once again with a magical display to beat World Champion Rob Cross 4-2, posting an impressive 102.29 average in the process to give Singapore the advantage.
Dave Chisnall kept England in the tournament with a 4-2 defeat of Harith Lim, firing in three maximums and hitting a sublime 142 checkout to force a doubles decider.
The upset looked back on the cards as Singapore grabbed the first leg, only for England’s class to shine through as they rattled off four legs in a row to set up a last eight tie with Belgium.
"I'm relieved to be through and I think we'll get better as we go on tomorrow," said Cross.
"I didn't play badly in my Singles game but Paul was great. He hit everything and it put us in a situation but Dave dug us out of a hole with his Singles win and then in the Doubles we were good.
"I've got a lot of faith in Dave and when he gets his scoring right, there's nobody in the world who can score like him and it's a pleasure to play with him."
Belgium backed up their dramatic first round triumph over Republic of Ireland with a more comfortable 2-0 win over Finland.
Kim Huybrechts got Belgium off to a perfect start with an impressive 4-0 whitewash of Marko Kantele, landing clinical finishes of 81, 96 and 76 to keep the Fin at bay.
Dimitri Van den Bergh produced a world-class performance to defeat Kim Viljanen 4-1 with a 100.04 average to wrap up a convincing victory for former finalists Belgium.
“Yesterday I was nervous all day but today I felt much more comfortable,” said Van den Bergh.
“I felt ready, I played so well in the practice and to average over 100 is always nice, but the main thing was to get the important win.
“We believe in each other and we won’t be scared of playing England, we can’t wait for it.”
Australia overcame Spain 2-1 after a tense battle between the two sides went all the way to a deciding leg in the pairs.
The opening game saw Cristo Reyes edge out Simon Whitlock 4-2 in a see-saw battle thanks to his clinical finishing which saw him miss just two darts at double.
Kyle Anderson kept Australia in the tie with a convincing 4-1 win over Toni Alcinas, wrapping it up in style with a stunning 170 finish to force a deciding doubles match.
A titanic tussle between the pairs saw the tie all-square at 3-3, before Whitlock cleaned up a pivotal 70 checkout to seal the fourth seeds path into the quarter-finals where they will face Wales.
“It was a real battle and there were a few nerves on that stage at the end,” said Anderson.
“We came good at the end which is the main thing, but we know there is more to come from us.
“We’re feeling confident, ready and up for the Wales match and I think if we play our best game we can go even further this year.”
Fifth seeds Wales survived a scare from Switzerland to reach the quarter-finals for a second consecutive year with a 2-1 win.
Alex Fehlmann registered a shock 4-3 win over Gerwyn Price in the opening game of the afternoon, holding his nerve in a dramatic deciding leg after the Welshman missed three match darts.
Jonny Clayton levelled the tie for Wales with a 4-0 whitewash of Andy Bless in a clash between two World Cup debutants to take the match all the way.
The Swiss pair got off to a strong start in the doubles decider, taking the opening leg before running out of steam as Wales showed their class to run out 4-1 winners and book their place in the final day of action.
“We weren’t at our best today but a win is a win,” said Price.
“We put ourselves under a bit of pressure after I lost our first singles game, but Jonny got us out of trouble with his win.
“We found it tough getting out of the blocks in the doubles but we got there in the end and now we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”
Scotland secured their passage into the business end of the tournament with a professional 2-0 win over Brazil.
Peter Wright put the Scots ahead in the tie as he eased to a comfortable 4-1 triumph over Diogo Portela in a repeat of their 2018 World Championship first round clash.
Gary Anderson finished the job for Scotland with a comfortable 4-0 whitewash of Bruno Rangel to set up a last eight clash with Japan.
“I was a bit shaky at the start and I was lucky that Diogo missed a few doubles,” said Wright.
“It was good to get the win and take the pressure off Gary because it could’ve turned out to be a tricky game.
“We’ve got to make sure we’ve got our heads on for the Japan game because they are improving every year.”
Japan reached their first quarter-final in five years with a convincing 2-0 win over Canada.
Seigo Asada’s heavy-scoring proved to be the difference as he edged past John Part 4-3, although the Canadian captain did miss one match dart before Japan took a 1-0 lead in the tie.
Muramatsu followed up Asada’s win with a solid display as he cruised past Dawson Murschell 4-0 to book Japan’s place in the last eight.
“It is a great feeling to reach the quarter-finals again and this time I want to go even further,” said Muramatsu.
“The fact that Seigo won his game first definitely took some of the pressure of me for my game.
“Last year Singapore showed that Scotland can be beaten, so we will be looking to repeat what they did and surprise everyone.”
The £300,000 tournament concludes on Sunday, with the afternoon session's quarter-finals followed in the evening session by the semi-finals and final.
The Betway World Cup of Darts will be broadcast live on Sky Sports and through the PDC's series of international broadcast partners, as well as via PDCTV-HD for International Pass subscribers. For ticket information, please visit www.pdc-europe.tv.
For tickets, visit www.pdc-europe.tv/tickets.
2018 Betway World Cup of Darts
Saturday June 2
Wales v Switzerland
Singles One: Gerwyn Price 3-4 Alexander Fehlmann
Singles Two: Jonny Clayton 4-0 Andreas Bless
Doubles: Wales 4-1 Switzerland
Final Result: Wales 2-1 Switzerland
Australia v Spain
Singles One: Simon Whitlock 2-4 Cristo Reyes
Singles Two: Kyle Anderson 4-1 Toni Alcinas
Doubles: Australia 4-3 Spain
Final Result: Australia 2-1 Spain
Japan v Canada
Singles One: Seigo Asada 4-3 John Part
Singles Two: Haruki Muramatsu 4-0 Dawson Murschell
Doubles: Japan v Canada - Not needed
Final Result: Japan 2-0 Canada
Scotland v Brazil
Singles One: Peter Wright 4-1 Diogo Portela
Singles Two: Gary Anderson 4-0 Bruno Rangel
Doubles: Scotland v Brazil - Not needed
Final Result: Scotland 2-0 Brazil
Evening Session (7pm local time, 6pm BST)
Belgium v Finland
Singles One: Kim Huybrechts 4-0 Marko Kantele
Singles Two: Dimitri Van den Bergh 4-1 Kim Viljanen
Doubles: Belgium v Finland - Not needed
Final Result: Belgium 2-0 Finland
England v Singapore
Singles One: Rob Cross 2-4 Paul Lim
Singles Two: Dave Chisnall 4-2 Harith Lim
Doubles: England 4-1 Singapore
Final Result: England 2-1 Singapore
Germany v Northern Ireland
Singles One: Martin Schindler 0-4 Daryl Gurney
Singles Two: Max Hopp 4-3 Brendan Dolan
Doubles: Germany 4-2 Northern Ireland
Final Result: Germany 2-1 Northern Ireland
Netherlands v South Africa
Singles One: Michael van Gerwen 4-0 Liam O'Brien
Singles Two: Raymond van Barneveld 4-0 Devon Petersen
Doubles: Netherlands v South Africa - Not needed
Final Result: Netherlands 2-0 South Africa
Sunday June 3
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)
Scotland v Japan
Wales v Australia
England v Belgium
Germany v Netherlands
Evening Session (7pm local time, 6pm BST)
Scotland/Japan v Wales/Australia
England/Belgium v Germany/Netherlands
Quarter-Finals & Semi-Finals
The Quarter-Finals & Semi-Finals will be played as two best of seven leg 501 Singles matches, with both nations nominating the order in which their players play. In the event of both nations winning one Singles match apiece, a best of seven leg 501 Doubles match will be played to decide the tie.
The Final will be played as two best of seven leg 501 Singles matches, with both nations nominating the order in which their players play the first two matches, followed by a best of seven leg 501 Doubles match and then Reverse Singles matches. The first team to win three games is declared the winner.