1984 WDF Europe Cup IV - Heren

Published at 01/05/2020

On 26 and 27 October, the Dutch Darts Association organized the fourth edition of the WDF Europe Cup in collaboration with the WDF in the Ockenburg sports center in The Hague. For the first time in history, a darts event of this stature was organized in the Netherlands. All the top players from twelve European countries were present. However, the English team would reign supreme, winning all the top prizes. For the first time in history, a brother and sister participate in a WDF Europe Cup; Luc and Christa Marreel play on behalf of Belgium.


Men’s Team Event
In the team tournament, host country The Netherlands with Rick Daniels, Pieter Kessels, Ellis Elsevijf & Graeme Stoddart reached the semi-finals by beating Germany 9-5 in the quarterfinals. This was not without difficulty because they first trailed 4-0 before Pieter Kessels won the first leg for the Netherlands with a 15-darter. After that, the Dutch quartet was unstoppable.

In the semi-finals, the Netherlands lost to the Northern Ireland team of Fred McMullan, Ray Farrell, Steve Brennan & David Keery, 9-3. The other semi-final between England's John Lowe, Eric Bristow, Dave Whitcombe & Cliff Lazarenko and Scotland with Jocky Wilson, Peter Masson, Danny Cunningham & Harry Patterson was a real thriller. Initially, the English pros seemed to have no problem with the Scots, but with an 8-3 lead for England, the Scots woke up and won five legs in a row and the English 'Big Ben' staggered for a moment. It was John Lowe who defeated the Scottish captain Peter Masson in the deciding leg and gave England the victory 9-8. This semi-final was perhaps the highlight of the tournament as all legs were completed within 20 darts.

The final was equally sensational. England took a 5-0 lead but was again surprised. Northern Ireland won five legs in a row thanks to two strong legs by David Keery and Steve Brennan with 13 darts. In the end it was still the English squad who won the game 9-7. Although not always with ease, England eventually managed to claim first place in the team tournament again. They are already doing this for the third time in a row.

Men’s Pairs tournament
The pairs tournament brought some nice surprises in the first rounds. The Welshmen Leighton Rees & Alan Evans went out in that round against the Finnish duo Arto Lintunen & Tapani Uitos 4-3. The other Welsh couple Peter Locke & Malcolm Davies eliminated the Scottish duo Jocky Wilson & Danny Cunningham 4-3 in round two. The latter Scots had defeated the two-time WDF Europe Cup couple champions from Sweden Stefan Lord & Björn Enqvist in the first round, 4-0. The biggest surprise, however, is the defeat of the royal pairing of Eric Bristow & John Lowe who are beaten in the second round by the Northern Irish pair Ray Farrell & David Keery 4-3.

In the semi-finals, in addition to Wales (Peter Locke & Malcolm Davies) and England (Cliff Lazarenko & Dave Whitcombe), the two Finnish couples (Arto Lintunen & Tapani Uitos) and (Harri Heino & Taisto Piiroinen) also surprisingly stood out. But for both Finnish couples, the semi-final was the final destination.

The final between England and Wales became an extremely exciting one. Initially, the English seemed to be heading for a win when Cliff Lazarenko & Dave Whitcombe quickly went 2-0 up. But the Welshmen Peter Locke & Malcolm Davies came back strong with legs of 14, 15 and 18 darts and so it was 3-2 to Wales. But apparently, that took it all out of them as they lost the sixth leg. The last leg was convincing won by the English (100-140-123-98 game shot D20).

After two Swedish victories, England finally wins the pairs title again, John Lowe & Eric Bristow were the last in 1978.

Men’s Singles tournament
As usual, the singles tournament was scheduled last at the WDF Cups. In the first round, 20-year-old German police officer Michael Reek caused a real upset by eliminating none other than Jocky Wilson. The unusual throwing technique of this young German did not prevent him from coming back from a 0-2 deficit. Jocky's mistake of missing tops in the deciding leg was punished mercilessly and the victory went 4-3 to the German. Eric Bristow seemed to be heading straight for a place in the final. In the first three rounds, he only had to give up one leg. In the quarterfinals however, he was completely surprised by Malcolm Davies from Wales, who to the surprise of the entire English camp thumped Eric 4-1.

In the final there was only one English star left, who other than the captain of the English quartet; John Lowe. In the semi-finals, he won effortlessly with an average of 33.30 per dart from Malcolm Davies 4-1. In the other semi-final, Steve Brennan from Northern Ireland and Leighton Rees from Wales faced each other. The tournament's most seasoned player, Leighton, had grown slowly into the tournament, beating Dave Whitcombe in the quarterfinals. He continued his good form in his match against Steve Brennan by beating him 4-2.

The final became the spectacular finale the tournament deserved. Lowe won the first three legs in 19, 13 and 14 darts. With 3-0 in the pocket, there seemed to be no problem for John Lowe. However, Rees decided to put his best foot forward one more time and in the fourth leg he created a 63-point lead after 15 darts; 101 against 164. However, Rees was unable to finish and did not get a second chance. John Lowe hit T20, T18 and Bull. With this fantastic finish and a standing ovation, the fourth WDF Europe Cup was brought to a worthy end.

John Lowe's win is his second at a WDF Europe Cup in the singles after his win at the first edition in 1978. England has still won the singles in all editions.

Men’s Overall classification
The overall title was masterfully won by England’s John Lowe, Eric Bristow, Dave Whitcombe & Cliff Lazarenko with 126 points. They took the gold medal in every event, an unprecedented achievement. Wales came in second with 45 points, their third silver after the singles and the pairs. Northern Ireland finished third with 38 points, mainly thanks to the silver in the team tournament. Finland comes in fourth with 32 points. The Netherlands that hosted the tournament finished in an excellent fifth position with 29 points, the best performance ever for the Netherlands at a WDF Europe Cup.

Overall ranking
1 - 126 points England
2 - 45 points Wales
3 - 38 points Northern Ireland
4 - 32 points Finland
5 - 29 points Netherlands
6 - 28 points Scotland
7 - 25 points Norway
8 - 24 points Germany
9 - 23 points Belgium/ Sweden
11 - 22 points Denmark
12 - 21 points France