The Netherlands were crowned World Cup of Darts champions for a third time as Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld defeated Wales’ Gerwyn Price and Mark Webster in a dramatic final in Frankfurt on Sunday evening.
The Dutch duo had endured an eventful start to their campaign, with world number one Michael van Gerwen emerging as a doubt due to a foot injury. Benito van de Pas was on stand-by to partner Van Barneveld, but ‘The Green Machine’ declared himself fit and performed magnificently to record his second World Cup triumph.
It was also a magnificent victory for Van Barneveld, who registered the third PDC World Cup triumph of his career, to become the third most successful player in the tournament’s history. This triumph- Van Barneveld’s first title since the 2014 World Cup, also confirms his qualification for this year’s Grand Slam of Darts.
Van Gerwen kicked off the final with an imperious whitewash victory over UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price. ‘The Iceman’ struggled throughout and could only muster a modest 87.74 average, as Van Gerwen averaged 98.56 and boasted a 40% checkout success rate to give Netherlands the early advantage.
However, former Lakeside world champion Mark Webster levelled up proceedings for the Welsh, with a clinical 4-1 win over Van Barneveld. Barney averaged 98.45 to Webster’s 93.30, but Webby’s finishing proved decisive; punishing RvB’s 20% checkout success rate with nerveless finishes of 70, 94 and 70.
Nevertheless, the Dutch duo once again performed magnificently in the doubles tie; posting their fifth successive ton-plus pairs average. Van Gerwen followed up a maximum from Barney to take out 96 and record a 15-dart hold, before Barney doubled the Dutch lead after pegging D5 with his last dart in hand.
Van Gerwen then conjured up an effortless 107 kill to establish a 3-0 advantage, but Wales avoided the whitewash after Price produced a moment of brilliance; taking out an exhibition 100 checkout (S20, D20, D20). Yet this only delayed the inevitable, as Van Gerwen sank D16 for another 15-darter, to move his side to the cusp of glory.
Van Barneveld then took on Price in the fourth rubber, with the opportunity to round-off a memorable triumph for the Netherlands. It was a chance the legendary Dutchman refused to pass up. He averaged 101.06, landed three maximums and fired in a 13-darter to prevail; sealing his World Cup hat-trick and a share of the £60,000 winner’s prize.
Van Gerwen reflected: “This is fantastic. Only once a year we can play as a team and we’re going to enjoy this. If you’re in the tournament you want to win it, On paper we were the strongest couple but you still have to do it and we played well, especially in the Pairs games we were fantastic.”
Van Barneveld was also thrilled to win his first PDC title in three years, adding: “It was an amazing tournament and I’m so happy with my third title. Michael was in agony on Friday and Benito came to be there if Michael couldn’t play. I’m happy he played, he’s a fighter and a battler. I was struggling in the Singles but the Pairs was our thing.”
Earlier in the day, the Dutch duo kicked off Sunday’s proceedings with a dramatic doubles victory over host-nation Germany, who performed valiantly to equal their best ever World Cup run in this year’s competition.
Van Gerwen reeled off four straight legs from 2-0 down to defeat Martin Schindler in the first rubber; averaging 97.31 and landing three maximums. However, Max Hopp forced a doubles decider after edging out five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld in a nerve-jangling last-leg shootout.
Hopp stormed into a 2-0 lead but Van Barneveld fought back, only to spurn two match darts to send Holland through, as Hopp capitalised to force a doubles clash. Nevertheless, the Dutch turned on the style in the pairs contest; averaging 105.17 to record an emphatic 4-1 victory.
In the last four, Netherlands faced reigning champions England, in a repeat of last year’s final. However, the Dutch gained retribution for last year’s painful defeat by recording successive singles victories over the English pairing of Adrian Lewis and Dave Chisnall.
Michael van Gerwen drew first blood for the Netherlands, coming from 3-2 behind to defeat Lewis. ‘Jackpot’ took out a fine 121 to break throw in the opening leg, but MvG dispatched a majestic 160 outshot to lead 2-1. Lewis then won the next two legs to lead 3-2, but Van Gerwen reeled him in, after Adrian missed a match dart at the bull.
In the second rubber, Raymond van Barneveld produced a brilliant display to defeat Dave Chisnall and seal the Netherlands’ place in the final. The five-time world champion averaged 100.14, crashed in five maximums and registered legs of 12 and 10-darters against the throw, to record his first singles victory at this year’s World Cup.
On the other side of the draw, Wales’ progress to the final was relatively serene, as they set up a repeat of the 2010 World Cup final against the Netherlands. Gerwyn Price and Mark Webster defeated Russia and Belgium respectively to reach their second World Cup final, without requiring a decisive doubles match in either tie.
Price drew first blood for the Welsh in the last eight, with a scrappy 4-1 win over Russia’s Aleksandr Oreshkin, despite averaging a miserly 80.21. However, Mark Webster sealed Wales’ progression with an impressive whitewash triumph over Boris Koltsov; averaging 96.97 and converting 57% of his attempts at double.
In the semi-finals, Wales took on the Belgian Huybrechts brothers. Both teams were vying to reach their second World Cup final, but it was the fourth seeds Wales that claimed the spoils, with Gerwyn Price producing his best singles performance of this year’s competition.
The UK Open finalist averaged 101.04 and converted 66% of his double attempts to record a fine 4-2 win over Belgian captain Kim Huybrechts, who averaged 95.89 and fired in two 180’s. Webster then rounded off the tie; averaging 95.90 and posting three maximums to defeat Ronny Huybrechts by the same scoreline.
Earlier in the afternoon, Kim Huybrechts had recorded the second highest televised average in history; defeating Singapore’s Paul Lim 4-1 with an astonishing 121.97 average. This meant that the Belgians posted the two highest singles averages of this year’s event, after Ronny averaged 115.62 in defeating John Michael in round-two.
Betway World Cup of Darts
Sunday June 4
Singapore v Belgium
Singles One: Paul Lim 1-4 Kim Huybrechts
Singles Two: Harith Lim 4-2 Ronny Huybrechts
Doubles: Lim/Lim 2-4 Huybrechts/Huybrechts
Final Result: Singapore 1-2 Belgium
Russia v Wales
Singles One: Aleksandr Oreshkin 1-4 Gerwyn Price
Singles Two: Boris Koltsov 0-4 Mark Webster
Doubles: Oreshkin/Koltsov v Price/Webster – Not needed
Result : Russia 0-2 Wales
England v Austria
Singles One: Adrian Lewis 0-4 Mensur Suljovc
Singles Two: Dave Chisnall 4-1 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Doubles: Lewis/Chisnall 4-2 Suljovic/Rodriguez
Results: England 2-1 Austria
Germany v Netherlands
Singles One: Martin Schindler 2-4 Michael van Gerwen
Singles Two: Max Hopp 4-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Doubles: Schindler/Hopp 1-4 Van Gerwen/Van Barneveld
Result: Germany 1-2 Netherlands
Belgium v Wales
Singles One: Kim Huybrechts 2-4 Gerwyn Price
Singles Two: Ronny Huybrechts 2-4 Mark Webster
Doubles: Huybrechts/Huybrechts v Price/Webster – Not Needed
Result: Belgium 0-2 Wales
England v Netherlands
Singles One: Adrian Lewis 3-4 Michael van Gerwen
Singles Two: Dave Chisnall 2-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Doubles: Lewis/Chisnall v Van Gerwen/Van Barneveld – Not Needed
Result: England 0-2 Netherlands
Wales v Netherlands
Singles One: Gerwyn Price 0-4 Michael van Gerwen
Singles Two: Mark Webster 4-1 Raymond van Barneveld
Doubles: Price/Webster 1-4 Van Gerwen/Van Barneveld
Singles Three: Gerwyn Price 2-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Singles Four: Mark Webster v Michael van Gerwen – Not Needed
Result: Wales 1-3 Netherlands