Northern Ireland will play Canada in the quarter-finals of the Betway World Cup of Darts in Frankfurt today.
On Saturday Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan defeated the Republic of Ireland’s William O’Connor and Mick McGowan 2-0.
Gurney produced a strong display as he overcame O’Connor 4-1, before Dolan hit back from 2-1 down against McGowan to claim a 4-2 win and move the former semi-finalists into the last eight.
They will play Canada’s John Part and Ken MacNeil with the winner meeting either England or Austria in the semi-finals scheduled for later tonight.
The quarter-finals and 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.
2012 finalists Australia were threatened with an upset by Denmark after Per Laursen’s 4-2 singles victory over Kyle Anderson in their last 16 tie took the contest all the way.
However, former European Championship winner Simon Whitlock followed up his narrow 4-3 win over 20-year-old newcomer Daniel Jensen - which he won with a 101 finish - by hitting the winning double in all four legs as Australia whitewashed their rivals in the Doubles contest.
Whitlock’s display included two 180s and finishes of 76 and 104 as he propelled the Australians into the last eight.
Australia now meet two-time champions Netherlands in Sunday afternoon’s quarter-finals, after Michael van Gerwen overcame Philippines ace Gilbert Ulang 4-2 and Raymond van Barneveld saw off Alex Taragao 4-2 in their second round win, with the latter posting the day’s highest individual average of 101.75.
“We did enough to win the game and that’s the most important thing,” said van Gerwen. “They had a couple of good finishes and did well, but we’ll focus on Australia now.
“We’re through to tomorrow and we’ll get ready for it because we really want to win this title. It’s a short format and anything can happen but our strength is the singles games but we’ve shown in the past that we can be brilliant in the pairs too.”
Canada won through to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010 with a superb upset against number five seeds Wales.
Three-time World Champion John Part and partner Ken MacNeil thrilled a capacity crowd at Frankfurt’s Eissporthalle with a 2-1 win over Welsh pair Mark Webster and Gerwyn Price, as the Canadians edged through.
Part kicked off the game with a 4-2 win over Webster, before Price’s fine 4-0 whitewash of MacNeil, which included a brilliant ten-dart finish, sent the tie into the pairs game.
Part showed his class with a 161 finish to help his nation move into a 3-1 lead, and though Wales took the fifth leg to keep their hopes alive it was the sport’s greatest ever Canadian who fittingly sealed the win by landing a 180 and a 76 finish.
Reigning champions England raced past China without dropping a leg as Phil Taylor defeated Yuanjun Liu and Adrian Lewis brushed aside Wenge Xie to set up a quarter-final tie with Austria.
“We got the job done but it wasn’t easy and these guys might never get an opportunity like this again, so they enjoyed it,” said Lewis, a winner alongside Taylor in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
“It’s going to be a big day tomorrow so we’ll make sure we’re right for it. We’ve got a good chemistry and I think we’ve got a good chance, and it would be special to win this title again.”
Number eight seeds Austria overcame Singapore 2-0 as they impressed, with Mensur Suljovic averaging 101 in his 4-2 defeat of Paul Lim before Rowby-John Rodriguez defeated Harith Lim by the same margin.
2015 finalists Scotland overcame some nervous moments before defeating Norway 2-0, with Gary Anderson twice coming from behind before taking out 160 to win his tie with Cor Dekker before Robert Thornton hit back from 1-0 down against Robert Wagner to take a 4-1 victory.
“Gary took the pressure off me with the 160 and I knew if I could get up there and win we were through,” said Thornton. “We play with passion and pride and it will take a good team to beat us.
“The best team will win tomorrow, and we’ll look forward to playing and enjoying ourselves.”
2013 finalists Belgium also swept into the last eight by seeing off Hungary, as Kim Huybrechts averaged 100 in his fine 4-1 defeat of Nandor Bezzeg before elder brother Ronny came from a leg down against youngster Patrik Kovacs to win by the same scoreline.
The £250,000 tournament concludes on Sunday, with the afternoon session’s quarter-finals followed in the evening session by the semi-finals and final.
Betway World Cup of Darts
Sunday June 5
Afternoon Session (2pm local time)
Quarter-Finals Order of Play
Canada v Northern Ireland
England v Austria
Scotland v Belgium
Australia v Netherlands
Evening Session (8pm local time)
England/Austria v Canada/Northern Ireland
Scotland/Belgium v Australia/Netherlands