World Cup Darts heartbreak in Hamburg
On Monday, we witnessed sporting drama at its best, and no, it wasn’t the Superbowl. I’m talking about the World Cup of Darts.
While some will discount darts as nothing more than a pub game, this is a professional sport where the prize money is nothing to be sneezed at.
The Australian pair of Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson came as close as you can to beating the old enemy England and claiming victory in the second World Cup.
The World Cup of darts is a fast and furious tournament held over 3 days in Hamburg. 24 nations competed to knock off defending champion the Netherlands and tournament favourites England.
The Aussies did it easy in the preliminary rounds, easily accounting for Ireland and Belgium and smashing the lacklustre Dutch 5-1. This led to a finals match up against England who had a major scare in the earlier rounds to Canada but had easily beaten United States and Wales to make the final.
The England pair of Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor and Adrian Lewis are a formidable team- Taylor is a 15 time world champion and arguably the greatest player of all time and Lewis at 27 has won the last 2 world championships.
The final started disastrously for the Aussies going, 3-0 down in the singles. Paul Nicholson lost his first singles match and Simon Whitlock narrowly lost both of his singles matches. In the second of the reverse singles Paul Nicholson faced Adrian Lewis and the match was close until Nicholson won 5 from the last 6 games take the tie 7-4. Australia was on the board, 3-1 down but still in it.
The doubles contest was a tight affair but the Aussies took it 7-4. The doubles win earnt the Aussies two points to leave the final locked up at 3-3 and which meant one sudden death game.
Nicholson had the first opportunity to win the match, holding three darts and needing to score 56. The easiest route was a single score of 16 and a double 20.
Nicholson got the 16 with his first dart, missed the double 20 but scored a single 20 with his second dart, meaning he had 20 left to score with his final dart. Aiming for a double 10, he came with centimetres but missed the target.
It was then England’s turn to try to win, needing the same score of 56. ‘The Power’ Taylor went the same way, scoring a single 16, a single 20 and needing a double 10, he missed he got a single 10.
Simon Whitlock then had three darts to score a double 10. His first scored a single 10, and left him needing a double 5 to win. His second dart missed but scored a single 5. This left him needing five, which would have to be scored by two 2′s and a 1, meaning that the Aussies could not win with the one dart remaining.
Adrian Lewis then took the stage needing 10 to win and with his first dart scored the double 5, winning England the World Cup of darts.
Paul Nicholson was inconsolable immediately after the match but had strong words in the post game interviews.
It wasn’t to be this year, but one day Australia will win the World Cup of Darts.