Germans vow they can do “damage” on night of high drama

World Cup day three. Report by Jethro Bremner-Allison.

It’s fair to say that the PDC’s idea of 100% pairs matches in this World Cup has proved to be a huge success and if the R2 match of Belgium and the Netherlands is anything to go by, we are in for a Super Sunday. As the match ratcheted up, the 2 teams crashed into one another like two rugby scrums being told to engage in the last minute of a 6 nations match. The first flash point of the match came as Dimi Van Den Bergh marched over to team mate Kim Huybrechts in leg 6 and they bellowed in each other’s face in an antagonistic display of celebration rather too close to the Dutch last minute substitute Dirk Van Duijvenbode. Aubergenius smirked, but clearly riled, he celebrated retaking the lead into the break with naked aggression. He grabbed poor Noppert by the throat and their heads clashed as he roared in celebration. Noppert, the quietest of the four men by far, must have wondered if he gets man-handled like that for hitting the double, what would happen if he didn’t? They continued exchanging blows in a more metaphorical sense over the next legs and DvD took us to a decider that the game deserved. A misplaced chest bump after that winning double saw his shoulder crashing into Noppert’s face. Danny will be black & blue from friendly fire in the morning. The first chance of the last leg fell to Belgium and with the Netherlands handy, Dimi had 32 to win. Kim tried to hush the crowd but Dimi turned from the oche and conducted the orchestra as Dirk silently looked on, close to boiling point. Dimi then turned, composed himself, and pinned the perfect double. Cue bedlam. Huybrechts who had been hiding on his haunches behind the water table sprung to his feet, spinning to the crowd and beating his chest whilst Dimi headed off towards the family section like a steam train. It was a sensation and why pairs darts must be here to stay. Desperate to prove they are now best friends for their country, Kim and Dimi embraced before the interview. “Belgium is proud of us, right?” Dimi shouted and you’d have to imagine they most certainly do. Australia lie in wait next.   

Elsewhere, the Welsh dragon fire will take some extinguishing this weekend as the entered the tournament full of assurance. Dropping the first leg to the previously impressive Denmark, this only served to annoy them as they rattled off 5 legs in a trot in a blitz of scoring where both Price and Clayton oozed confidence. It was an immediate marker that Wales could well be the team to beat in this tournament, the Sky Sports segment beforehand showed how not only how well they knew one another but the genuine friendship too. The German fans sang Gerwyn Price’s name as he landed a dart to make it 7-2 and he beamed and raised his arm to acknowledge the fans. Never has a player been more at home when the fans are on his side. The Welsh comfortably saw out a comprehensive 8-2 win to blow away the Danes who’s final was surely qualifying from their section and can be proud of their efforts.  

Cross and Smith on paper is a curious but potentially formidable duo, their first attempt was 3 years ago and a run to the final where they were blitzed by an unstoppable Wales is a good sign this should work. World champion Smith killed any nerves in the first leg and the reaction of Cross to his first 180 in leg 2 showed they are looking to emulate the Taylor/Lewis dream team which had so much success in the early iterations. 15th seeds Latvia, led as always by the inscrutable Madars Razma took leg 3 just to show they weren’t here to make up the numbers. Heading into the break 5-2 you felt the Latvians were clinging on and needed to take any small opportunity which came their way but they couldn’t create as their scoring wasn’t strong enough. England cruised through to take the tie 8-4 on a classy 111 finish, always kept Latvia at arms length without any real scoring fireworks. Afterwards Rob Cross admitted on stage to Sky Sports, “We can definitely be better, but there’s a good bond there and a lot more to come,100%”. Moving onto potential quarter final opponents, Bully Boy, risking the wrath of the home crowd said “I think Poland will beat Germany and I hope they do as my wife is Polish”  

Kcuik and Ratajski fresh off their remarkable 118.10 average in their final group game, strode onto the hostile home crowd stage brimming with confidence as the last match of the night matched Poland with the emerging Germany side. The first 7 legs, Poland created chances and couldn’t convert, and we were on throw, Germany inching ahead 4-3. Much like the Dutch, the little and large combo of Schindler and Clemens should perhaps avoid the chest bump celebration as it was close to going wrong on stage as Schindler was engulfed. The passion can’t be questioned from all these countries, but someone is going to lose a tooth soon. The story continued after the break, Poland create, don’t convert. Germany get to a double second but pin them each time. 4-3 became 6-6 and Poland looked to be running out of time. Germany twitched, leading out their first 6 darts with a 47 & 46. Poland had the darts but at the worst possible time Kciuk twitched with a 25. The Germans wonderfully recomposed and went one away to the crowd’s delight. This time it was the Poles time to twicth, poor visits from both Poles left Clemens with a chance on 3. The single 1, madhouse combo was pinned in style and the sell out Frankfurt crowd went wild. Michael Smith might not be employed as a tipster any time soon but England v Germany promises to be special tomorrow. “It’s a tough game, but I think we can do a lot of damage” boasted Clemens as the crowd sung their heroes off the stage.