1991 WDF World Cup VIII - Heren

Published at 25/05/2020

General
WDF World Cup VIII was held from 2 till 5 October 1991 in the Dutch seaside town of Zandvoort. Not in a hotel or resort as is usually the case, but in the Gran Dorado bungalow holiday park. No less than 32 countries were present at the oche in the men’s event, which was a record. Five countries leave their ladies at home, but with 27 the upward trend is also maintained for the ladies. Among those 32 countries were five debuting countries; Russia, Luxembourg, Greece, Austria and the African Uganda.

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The England men squad had plenty of choice in players and could even leave home this fabulous foursome: World Champion Dennis Priestley, number two in the world Mike Gregory, former world champion Bob Anderson and the 1989 Winmau World Masters Peter Evison. Of course, the big question was which country could prevent the English team of claiming their seventh consecutive overall title.

Men’s Team Event
In the team event, England with John Lowe, Eric Bristow, Phil Taylor & Alan Warriner qualifies for the semi-finals by winning convincingly in the quarterfinals against the Scottish foursome Jamie Harvey, Peter Masson, Ronnie Sharp, Jocky Wilson 9-2. The opponent in the semi-final is the USA. Larry Butler, Paul Lim, Tony Payne & Russ Lopez win 9-4 against Jean-Marie de Jonghe, Leo Laurens, Bruno Raes & Frans De Vooght from Belgium in the quarterfinals. In a very attractive match between England and the USA, the English favourites win 9-5 and take revenge for their 9-0 loss against team USA in the semi-final at the 1985 WDF World Cup.

In the other semi-final Eric Burden, Chris Johns, Martin Phillips, Leighton Rees on behalf of Wales face the Republic of Ireland with Jack McKenna, John-Joe O'Shea, Gerald Porter, John Dunne. Wales beat Switzerland 9-2 in the quarterfinals, while the Irish beat Australia in a 17-leg thriller. Wales quickly takes a comfortable 6-0 lead against Ireland but the Irish fight back to 6-4 and 7-5. Still, the Welshmen eventually win 9-5.

In the final, Wales takes a 2-0 lead, but the English remain close and the game is level at 6-6. Then Eric Bristow wins his only leg of the match against Leighton Rees in a sloppy 24 darts leg. Next, John Lowe beats Chris Johns in 17 darts to make it 8-6. Phil Taylor can finish the final but bumps into a strong Eric Burden who finishes in 16 darts. Finally, it is Alan Warriner who wins the team event for England in 13 darts (140, 140, 100, 97, 24 game shot).

It is the fifth time that England has won the team tournament, Wales remains on one win, the victory in 1977. Defending champion Canada did not make it through the group this year, they are surprisingly defeated by the Swiss.

Men’s Pairs tournament
In the pairs tournament no English pair reaches the semi-finals, something that had never happened before at a WDF World Cup. The duo Alan Warriner and Phil Taylor lost 4-0 in the first round to the Finns Kexi Heinaharju and Aulis Nissinen. The ‘royal’ pairing of John Lowe and Eric Bristow, who had dominated the pairs event since 1977 (sevenfold finalists and six times WDF World Cup champions pairs), lost 4-1 in the quarter finals to the Australians Keith Sullivan and Wayne Weening.

Both England beating duos proceeded to the semi-finals. The Aussies faced the Welsh pair Eric Burden and Martin Phillips, with a 4-0 win they qualified easily for the final. The Finnish duo lost a thrilling semi-final Belgian pair Frans Devooght and Jean-Marie Dejonghe. Belgium was 3-2 up when Devooght was given the opportunity to finish from 40. However, the tension was so high that Frans made a mistake. He finished 97, the previous score of Jean Marie. The Finns made good use of this and levelled at 3-3. Fortunately, Devooght and Dejonghe were not off balance too much by this and still won the last leg thus reaching the final.

In the final the Australians took a 1-0 lead in 17 darts. The Belgian pair responded with two 14 dart legs to take the lead at 2-1. The Aussies still went on to win the match by taking the next three legs in 17, 21 and 15 darts. Thus, Keith Sullivan and Wayne Weening became the first non-English WDF World Cup Pairs Champions.

Men’s Singles tournament
In the singles all four English top favourites reach the quarterfinals. In those quarterfinals Eric Bristow, the defending champion since 1983, loses to Scotsman Jamie "Brave Dart" Harvey 4-3. Phil Taylor goes down 4-0 in his quarterfinal against the Finn Aulis Nissinen. And Alan Warriner also loses his match against Welshman Martin Phillips 4-2. It was only John "Old Stoneface" Lowe who qualified for the semi-finals by beating Dutchman Bert Vlaardingerbroek 4-2.

In the semi-finals Martin Phillips defeated Aulis Nissinen 4-1 and Jamie Harvey could not keep the English captain from the final he lost with the same score line. In an exciting final Martin Phillips eventually had to settle for silver. John Lowe beat him 6-4 thus winning the singles title for the second time.

Men’s Overall classification
The overall title was won for the seventh consecutive time by England, John Lowe, Eric Bristow, Phil Taylor & Alan Warriner collecting a total of 124 points. Wales takes the silver with 95 points. Australia wins bronze for the third time with 75 points. Belgium lands just outside the medals and comes in fourth with 63 points. Finland finishes fifth with 49 points.

Overall ranking
1 - 124 points England
2 - 95 points Wales
3 - 75 points Australia
4 - 63 points Belgium
5 - 49 points Finland
6 - 45 points Scotland / United States
8 - 31 points Ireland Republic
9 - 26 points Switzerland
10 - 21 points Canada
11 - 20 points Netherlands
12 - 19 points France
13 - 16 points Germany / Spain
15 - 10 points Denmark
16 - 8 points Norway / Philippines
18 - 6 points Japan / Singapore / Sweden
21 - 5 points Greece / Northern Ireland
23 - 4 points Austria / Kenya
25 - 3 points Bahamas / New Zealand
27 - 2 points Brazil / Uganda / Zimbabwe
30 - 0 points Italy / Luxembourg / Russia