Daryl all set for World Cup debut

Daryl Gurney - all set for debut at World Cup of Darts.
Daryl Gurney - all set for debut at World Cup of Darts.

THE 2016 Betway World Cup of Darts begins on today,Thursday, with Northern Ireland taking on Japan in the 32-nation Pairs tournament which is being held across four days at the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt.

Daryl Gurney, making his debut at the event, partners Brendan Dolan as they step up to the oche against Japan’s Haruki Muramatsu and Keita Ono in the Friday night session hoping to progress into the second round where they will meet the winners of the clash between Republic of Ireland and Hong Kong.

Brendan Dolan.

Brendan Dolan.

“It is fantastic to be involved after just missing out last year,” said Daryl. “I can’t wait for my debut. Japan will be a really tough game they have players with big stage experience and the best of nine legs is a massive leveller.

“We will not think about a possible clash with Ireland as Japan is a huge obstacle.”

Northern Ireland are ranked number four seeds, but England are bidding to retain their title in the £250,000 tournament won by Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis last June.

That win was England’s third in the five stagings of the event, with the Netherlands being the only other champions so far with their 2010 and 2014 successes.

Taylor and Lewis again team up in Germany as they bid to retain the title, with sponsors Betway making the number one seeds the 2/1 second favourites to win the trophy ahead of their first round tie against Spain’s Cristo Reyes and Antonio Alcinas on Friday.

“I really enjoy it,” said Lewis. “Pairing up with Phil and playing for England is good and we’ve won it in three out of four years, so we’ve got a good record and hopefully we can retain the title.

“It’s hard to get into a rhythm, especially when you’re playing a Doubles match, but you’ve got to try and focus - which can be hard, especially when Phil’s behind you telling you to slow down!

“We always have fun and a lot of friendly banter with other teams but it’s brilliant playing with Phil and we enjoy it.”

The Netherlands will be represented by their 2014 title-winning pairing of Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld, and enter the tournament as the 13/8 favourites with Betway ahead of their first round tie with Russia in Thursday’s opening night.

“I’m really excited because I love representing the Netherlands,” said world number one van Gerwen. “Winning this title two years ago was very special for me and Raymond and it would be fantastic if we can do that again this weekend.

“We’ll focus first on the Russia game because we don’t know what to expect and anything can happen in Doubles matches, so we’ll have to prepare well.”

2015 finalists Scotland - who lost out to England 12 months ago - will be represented by World Champion Gary Anderson and World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton, with the pair up against New Zealand’s Warren Parry and Cody Harris in the first round as they bid to claim further major glory.

“It would be great to win the World Cup,” said Anderson. “Adrian and Phil haven’t let me forget that final for an entire year but the pressure will be on them and hopefully Robert and myself can come through.

“We won’t be taking anything for granted against New Zealand though because it’s a big chance for them and they’ll want to produce a big upset against us.”

Thursday’s opening night also sees 2012 finalists Australia, represented by Simon Whitlock and debutant Kyle Anderson, facing host nation Germany, who will have PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion Max Hopp alongside Jyhan Artut.

Brothers Kim and Ronny Huybrechts team up once again for 2013 finalists Belgium, who will take on Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski and Mariusz Paul, while USA face the Philippines, Denmark take on Scandinavian rivals Sweden, Norway meet Gibraltar and Hungary open up against Thailand.

Friday’s remaining first round games will include 2010 finalists Wales, represented by Mark Webster and debutant Gerwyn Price, take on Finland, the 2013 semi-finalists who will be represented by Kim Viljanen and Marko Kantele in Frankfurt.

Former rugby player Price has secured his World Cup debut after jumping to 25th on the PDC Order of Merit with two Players Championship wins this year, and he admitted: “Over the past 12 months, this has probably been my main target.

“Mark’s got experience and he’s the number one and captain of Wales and I’m sure I’ll work pretty well with him. I’m just looking forward to getting out there, putting the Welsh shirt on and seeing what happens.

“Mark and myself have been playing well and I’ve looked at the way the draw can work out and I think we can get to the semi-finals and possibly play England - but there’s going to be some tough games leading up to that.”

Greece make their World Cup of Darts debut as John Michael and Ioannis Selachoglou take on Canada’s John Part and Ken MacNeil, while South Africa meet Singapore, Austria face Italy, the Republic of Ireland play Hong Kong and the Czech Republic meet China.

The Betway World Cup of Darts continues with the second round split across two sessions on Saturday June 4, with the quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon and the semi-finals and final on Sunday evening.

Coverage is live on Sky Sports and through the PDC’s series of international broadcast partners, as well as via www.LIVEPDC.TV for International Pass subscribers. For ticket information, please visit www.pdc-europe.tv.

Betway World Cup of Darts

Schedule of Play

Thursday June 2 (8pm local time)

First Round x8

Hungary v Thailand

USA v Philippines

Norway v Gibraltar

Denmark v Sweden

Belgium v Poland

Scotland v New Zealand

Netherlands v Russia

Australia v Germany

Friday June 3 (8pm local time)

First Round x8

Czech Republic v China

Greece v Canada

Republic of Ireland v Hong Kong

South Africa v Singapore

Northern Ireland v Japan

Wales v Finland

England v Spain

Austria v Italy

Saturday June 4

Afternoon Session (2pm local time)

Second Round x4

Belgium/Poland v Hungary/Thailand

Northern Ireland/Japan v Republic of Ireland/Hong Kong

Wales/Finland v Greece/Canada

Austria/Italy v South Africa/Singapore

Evening Session (8pm local time)

Second Round x4

Scotland/New Zealand v Norway/Gibraltar

Australia/Germany v Denmark/Sweden

England/Spain v Czech Republic/China

Netherlands/Russia v USA/Philippines

Sunday June 5

Afternoon Session (2pm local time)

Quarter-Finals

Order of Play TBC

Evening Session (8pm local time)

Semi-Finals

Final

Format

First Round

Best of nine legs Doubles

Second Round, Quarter-Finals & Semi-Finals

The Second Round, 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.

Final

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.

Seeded Nations

1 - England - Phil Taylor & Adrian Lewis

2 - Scotland - Gary Anderson & Robert Thornton

3 - Netherlands - Michael van Gerwen & Raymond van Barneveld

4 - Northern Ireland - Brendan Dolan & Daryl Gurney

5 - Wales - Mark Webster & Gerwyn Price

6 - Australia - Simon Whitlock & Kyle Anderson

7 - Belgium - Kim Huybrechts & Ronny Huybrechts

8 - Austria - Mensur Suljovic & Rowby-John Rodriguez

Unseeded Nations

Canada - John Part & Ken MacNeil

China - Yuanjun Liu & Wenge Xie

Czech Republic - Michal Kocik & Pavel Drtil

Denmark - Per Laursen & Daniel Jensen

Finland - Kim Viljanen & Marko Kantele

Germany - Max Hopp & Jyhan Artut

Gibraltar - Dyson Parody & Manuel Vilerio

Greece - John Michael & Ioannis Selachoglou

Hong Kong - Ting Chi Royden Lam & Scott MacKenzie

Hungary - Nandor Bezzeg & Patrik Kovacs

Italy - Daniele Petri & Michel Furlani

Japan - Keita Ono & Haruki Muramatsu

New Zealand - Warren Parry & Cody Harris

Norway - Robert Wagner & Cor Dekker

Philippines - Gilbert Ulang & Alex Tagarao

Poland - Krzysztof Ratajski & Mariusz Paul

Republic of Ireland - William O’Connor & Mick McGowan

Russia - Aleksandr Oreshkin & Boris Koltsov

Singapore - Paul Lim & Harith Lim

South Africa - Devon Petersen & Graham Filby

Spain - Cristo Reyes & Antonio Alcinas

Sweden - Magnus Caris & Daniel Larsson

Thailand - Thanawat Gaweenuntawong & Attapol Eupakaree

USA - Darin Young & Larry Butler

Betway Odds

Pre-Tournament Odds

13/8 Netherlands

2/1 England

9/2 Scotland

25/1 Belgium, Wales

33/1 Australia, Austria

40/1 Northern Ireland

100/1 Germany, Spain

150/1 South Africa

200/1 Republic of Ireland

250/1 Canada, Finland

300/1 Sweden, USA, Denmark

500/1 Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Philippines, Norway, Gibraltar, Russia

1000/1 Hungary, Thailand, Singapore, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic, China, Greece

Match Odds

Thursday Evening

4/5 Hungary v Evens Thailand

1/2 USA v 13/8 Philippines

7/5 Norway v 4/7 Gibraltar

5/4 Denmark v 8/13 Sweden

1/7 Belgium v 9/2 Poland

1/20 Scotland v 9/1 New Zealand

1/50 Netherlands v 12/1 Russia

8/15 Australia v 6/4 Germany

Friday Evening

8/13 Czech Republic v 5/4 China

2/1 Greece v 4/11 Canada

4/6 Republic of Ireland v 6/5 Hong Kong

2/7 South Africa v 11/4 Singapore

1/3 Northern Ireland v 9/4 Japan

2/9 Wales v 100/30 Finland

1/8 England v 5/1 Spain

1/7 Austria v 9/2 Italy

Odds courtesy www.betway.com and correct at time of writing. Subject to fluctuation.