ENGLAND END AMERICAN DREAM AS BIG GUNS REACH CASH CONVERTERS WORLD CUP OF DARTS SEMI-FINALS
ENGLISH pair Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis scraped past America^s Darin Young and Gary Mawson to reach the Cash Converters World Cup of Darts semi-finals on Saturday night, and are joined in the last four in Hamburg by Australia, Wales and reigning champions Netherlands.
Taylor and Lewis had needed a sudden-death leg to defeat Canada in the second round of the £150,000 tournament - and were again pushed hard as the American pair almost caused a huge upset.
Taylor lost his Singles game with Mawson 4-3 before Lewis edged out Young by the same scoreline in a dramatic second clash, before the World Champion helped to secure a 4-2 victory in their Doubles contest.
"It was an ugly win but you won^t be 100 percent in every game and we scraped through," admitted Taylor.
"Maybe we^re trying too hard and sometimes you^re pushing your darts, but we^ll have a good night^s rest now."
They will face Wales in the semi-finals, and Taylor added: "We can relax a little bit on Sunday and it will suit us more.
"We know what we^re up against with Richie and Mark, but with Darin and Gary you^re not always sure how they^ll play, and they were superb against us tonight."
The Welsh progressed to the semi-finals in dramatic fashion against South Africa following a thrilling tie, which saw Webster whitewash Shawn Hogan before Devon Petersen produced a 12-darter to defeat Burnett 4-3.
The Doubles match also went to a deciding leg, with Petersen thinking he had secured victory for South Africa only to realise - too late - that he had miscounted, and Burnett returned to land double eight for the narrowest of wins.
"I feel for Devon," said a sporting Burnett afterwards. "He was fantastic in our Singles match and he^s a nice guy, so it was tough for him to miscount.
"We had loads of chances earlier to make it easier for ourselves but eventually we got the win, and that^s all that matters. Me and Mark are bouncing off each other and loving the tournament."
The other semi-final sees impressive Australia take on reigning champions Netherlands on Sunday afternoon.
Australia saw off Belgium in their quarter-final, with Simon Whitlock defeating Kurt Van De Rijck 4-0 before Kim Huybrechts impressed in a 4-2 win over Paul Nicholson.
However, the Australians^ teamwork paid off as they won the decisive Doubles match 4-2 to reach the semis for the second successive World Cup of Darts, hitting an 11-darter in a key leg during the victory.
"It was special," said Nicholson. "There was a leg there, the 11-darter, which I^ll never forget, but Simon and I brought courage, determination and quality to that leg.
"We^ve only known each other for three years, but the camaraderie we have is second to none, and Simon^s an incredible dart player, so it^s an honour to play with him representing Australia."
Nicholson added: "Kim Huybrechts was brilliant. In my opinion, he^s the best player to cmoe out of Belgium and we^ll see a lot more of him in the coming years."
Netherlands, meanwhile, secured their spot in the last four with a 4-0 defeat of Northern Ireland.
Vincent van der Voort came from 3-1 down to win 4-3 against Brendan Dolan, but Raymond van Barneveld defeated Michael Mansell 4-2 before they won the Doubles clash 4-3 to move into the semis and remain on course to retain their title.
Sunday sees the semi-finals and final played at the Alsterdorfer Sporthalle in Hamburg, with the format extended to include four Singles games plus a Doubles match in each tie.
Cash Converters World Cup of Darts
Australia 3-1 Belgium
Simon Whitlock 4-0 Kurt Van De Rijck
Paul Nicholson 2-4 Kim Huybrechts
Doubles: Australia 4-2 Belgium
Wales 3-1 South Africa
Mark Webster 4-0 Shawn Hogan
Richie Burnett 3-4 Devon Petersen
Doubles: Wales 4-3 South Africa
England 3-1 USA
Phil Taylor 3-4 Gary Mawson
Adrian Lewis 4-3 Darin Young
Doubles: England 4-2 USA
Northern Ireland 0-4 Netherlands
Brendan Dolan 3-4 Vincent van der Voort
Michael Mansell 2-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Doubles: Northern Ireland 3-4 Netherlands
Sunday (3pm local time)
Australia v Netherlands
Simon Whitlock v Vincent van der Voort
Paul Nicholson v Raymond van Barneveld
Simon Whitlock v Raymond van Barneveld
Paul Nicholson v Vincent van der Voort
Doubles - Australia v Netherlands (if needed)
England v Wales
Phil Taylor v Richie Burnett
Adrian Lewis v Mark Webster
Phil Taylor v Mark Webster
Adrian Lewis v Richie Burnett
Doubles - England v Wales (if needed)
Semi-finals consist of four best of seven leg Singles games followed by a
best of seven leg Doubles match (if required).
One point is awarded per singles match won, two per doubles. Loser throws first.
If the match finishes all square (3-3), a sudden-death Doubles leg will be played with a bull-up on stage to determine who throws first. Once a team has an unassailable lead, the tie is over and no further matches shall be played.
All games are the best of seven legs.
Quarter-Final Match Information
Australia v Belgium
Simon Whitlock v Kurt Van De Rijck
1-0 - Double ten for Whitlock gives him an early lead.
2-0 - Whitlock is unable to convert tops but Van De Rijck misses double 16, eight and four to allow the Australian back to post double ten again.
3-0 - Double top puts Whitlock a leg away from victory.
4-0 - The Belgian opens with a 180, but Whitlock replies with two of his own in a 13-darter to secure victory on double eight after Van De Rijck was unable to convert double ten for a 100 finish.
Australia 1-0 Belgium
Paul Nicholson v Kim Huybrechts
0-1 - Nicholson misses double 16 and Huybrechts opens with an 83 finish on the bull.
1-1 - The Belgian misses double top and ten and Nicholson levels with double nine.
1-2 - Nicholson opens with a 180 but Huybrechts takes out 111 to put himself back ahead.
1-3 - Huybrechts lands a maximum and takes out 129 on the bull to move a leg away from the win.
2-3 - Nicholson posts double 18 to pull back to within a leg.
2-4 - Nicholson hits a 180, but Huybrechts proves too strong by replying with a 171 to leave 32, and he hits double 16 to take victory, sending the tie into a decisive Doubles match where the winner progresses to the semis.
Australia 1-1 Belgium
Australia v Belgium - Doubles
1-0 - Whitlock opens the Doubles game with a 180 and, after Nicholson misses the bull for a 90 finish the pony-tailed ace hits double eight for the lead.
2-0 - Huybrechts opens with a 180, which Van De Rijck follows with a 140. Nicholson replies with a 180 of his own, and Huybrechts hits a 170 to leave 11 - hitting the bull instead of a 25 - only for Whitlock to then hit a 180 to leave 41. Van De Rijck misses two darts at double four, and Nicholson hits double 16 for an 11-darter.
2-1 - Van De Rijck posts double 14 to get the Belgians into the game.
3-1 - Nicholson sets up Whitlock for double top as Australia move to the brink of victory - averaging almost 110 in the process.
3-2 - Huybrechts posts double ten to keep Belgium^s hopes.
4-2 - Huybrechts opens the leg with a 180, but Australia are first to a finish, and Whitlock posts tops to put his country into the semi-finals.
Final Score: Australia 3-1 Belgium
Wales v South Africa
Mark Webster v Shawn Hogan
1-0 - Webster takes the opening leg.
2-0 - Webster breaks throw to double his lead.
3-0 - Double ten puts Webster a leg away from the win.
4-0 - Webster opens with a 180 and lands a 174 to leave 24 after nine darts, hitting double 12 to seal an impressive win in 11 darts.
Wales 1-0 South Africa
Richie Burnett v Devon Petersen
0-1 - Petersen opens impressively with a 13-darter.
1-1 - Burnett opens with a 180 as he levels the game.
1-2 - Both players miss double 16 before Petersen returns to hit double eight.
2-2 - Burnett lands another maximum in being first to a finish as he levels.
2-3 - Petersen finishes 105 on tops to move back ahead.
3-3 - Petersen opens with a 180 but Burnett finishes double 16 to force a decider.
3-4 - Petersen opens the final leg with a 180 and 140, with Burnett posting scores of 140 and 180, which he follows with a 130 to leave 51 - only for Petersen to finish 116 for a 12-darter to grab a brilliant win.
Wales 1-1 South Africa
Wales v South Africa - Doubles
1-0 - The Welsh pair open with 140s and Webster hits tops to give them the advantage.
2-0 - Webster misses double top and ten, but Hogan is unable to convert three darts at double 18 and Burnett gives Wales a 2-0 lead on double ten.
2-1 - Webster misses a dart at tops for a 95 finish, and Hogan this time makes him pay by taking out 100 in two darts.
2-2 - Petersen hits a 180, and when both Welsh aces miss three darts apiece at double 16, Hogan shows them how to hit the bed as he levels.
3-2 - Burnett gives Wales the advantage again on double eight.
3-3 - South Africa level to send the tie into a deciding final leg, with Petersen hitting a 180 to set up a 121 finish which Hogan takes out on double 18.
4-3 - Huge drama as Webster misses the bull for a 122 finish to allow Petersen in on 61 - but amazingly he miscounts after hitting single 12 with his first dart, hitting seven and double 16 instead of 17 and double 16, allowing Burnett in to take victory on double eight.
Final Score: Wales 3-1 South Africa
England v USA
Phil Taylor v Gary Mawson
1-0 - Taylor hits double 16 to get off the mark.
1-1 - Mawson hits a 180 and steps in on double five to level.
2-1 - Taylor finishes 111 on double 16 to regain the lead.
2-2 - Double ten from Mawson sees him level.
3-2 - Taylor hits a 180 and double 16 to regain the advantage.
3-3 - Taylor misses the bull for a 127 game shot, and Mawson posts double 17 to send the match into a decider.
3-4 - Taylor misses tops for a 76 finish and the match and Mawson hits the same bed for a famous win.
England 0-1 USA
Adrian Lewis v Darin Young
0-1 - Young opens the game with a 180 and finishes 60 to move ahead.
1-1 - Lewis levels courtesy of double 12.
1-2 - Young finishes 76 to move back ahead.
2-2 - Young hands Lewis a let-off for his missed doubles when he is unable to convert three darts at double top and ten, as Lewis wins the leg on double one.
2-3 - Lewis hits a 180, but Young finishes 64 on double eight to move a leg away from the win.
3-3 - Lewis sends the game into a decider with a 76 finish.
4-3 - Young opens with a 180, but Lewis replies in kind to leave 144. Young misses the bull for a 121 finish and the match, and also sees two darts at tops land on the wire, and Lewis finishes 40 with an improvised double one, double 19 shot.
England 1-1 USA
England v USA - Doubles
1-0 - England are first to a finish, with both Taylor and Lewis initially missing chances before Taylor hits double three to lead.
1-1 - Mawson misses double top for a 103 finish, but when Lewis cannot convert double seven for an 86 checkout, Young returns to land double ten.
1-2 - Taylor misses three darts at double 12, and Young steps in to land double ten again.
2-2 - Lewis hits tops to tie the game up.
3-2 - Mawson misses two darts at tops for a 97 finish, and Lewis punishes him on double eight.
4-2 - Young opens with a 180, but when Mawson is unable to finish 88 Lewis follows an earlier maximum by taking out 81 on the bull for victory.
Final Score: England 3-1 USA
Northern Ireland v Netherlands
Brendan Dolan v Vincent van der Voort
1-0 - Dolan misses tops but is handed a reprieve when the Dutchman wastes three darts at a double, allowing him back in on double ten.
1-1 - van der Voort finishes 76 to level.
2-1 - Dolan lands double eight to edge back ahead.
3-1 - van der Voort^s doubles let him down as he misses six darts for the leg, and Dolan steps in on tops to break and lead 3-1.
3-2 - The Dutchman posts double 16 at the first time of asking to pull back to within a leg.
3-3 - Another double 16 finish from van der Voort forces a decider.
3-4 - van der Voort hits a 180 to leave 115, and when Dolan misses the bull for a 170 finish is allowed in - but incredibly the Dutchman hits treble 19 but misses the single 18 to leave tops. Dolan, though, feels the pressure too and, needing 25, hits double nine, single three and misses double two to allow van der Voort to take the win on double three.
Northern Ireland 0-1 Netherlands
Michael Mansell v Raymond van Barneveld
1-0 - Mansell lands double 12 to take the game^s opening leg.
1-1 - The pair trade 180s before van Barneveld lands tops to level.
2-1 - Mansell is first to a finish and lands tops to edge back ahead.
2-2 - van Barneveld levels the game again.
2-3 - van Barneveld lands a 180 and wins the leg on double eight.
2-4 - The Dutchman posts double 16 to secure the win, after Mansell misses the bullseye.
Northern Ireland 0-2 Netherlands
Northern Ireland v Netherlands - Doubles
0-1 - van Barneveld opens with a 180 and Mansell replies with a maximum of his own - but both are guilty of missing doubles before van der Voort hits double ten to give the reigning champions the lead.
1-1 - Mansell levels the game for Northern Ireland.
1-2 - van der Voort finishes 76 in two darts to edge the Dutch back in front.
2-2 - Dolan misses double 16, but when van Barneveld fails to finish 113 he allows Mansell back to land the finish and level.
2-3 - Dolan and van Barneveld trade 180s, with van der Voort missing double 12 for a 138 finish but his team-mate returns to hit double six.
3-3 - Mansell misses double 12 for a 144 finish, but Dolan steps up to send the game into a deciding leg - which Northern Ireland must win to force a sudden-death leg.
3-4 - Dolan is unable to finish 146, and van der Voort takes out 90 in two darts on double 15 to take victory.
Northern Ireland 0-4 Netherlands