1992 WDF Europe Cup VIII - Heren

Published at 29/05/2020

General
The eighth edition of the WDF Europe Cup was held in Kerava, Finland, from 22 to 25 October. After Turku in 1986, this is the second time that Finland has hosted a WDF Europe Cup. Fifteen countries participate. Initially, this WDF Europe Cup would be played in Granada, Spain, but the Spanish Darts Federation unfortunately had to give the organisation back to the WDF. The Finnish Darts Organization jumped in to help and to allow the tournament to continue. The question was again who could beat the favourite English team, this time the English had to do it for the first time without Eric Bristow.

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Men’s Team Event
The team event was played in groups for the first time. The countries were divided into four groups, and the top team in each group would advance to the semi-finals.

In group A, England with star players Phil Taylor, John Lowe, Alan Warriner and Bob Anderson effortlessly qualify for the semi-finals by beating Norway and the Republic of Ireland.

A surprise in group B. There, Scotland with Jocky Wilson, Jamie Harvey, Ronnie Sharp & Peter Johnstone lose in its opening game 9-6 against Northern Ireland. In addition, they also lose their third game 9-7 to Denmark. Because the Danes and the Northern Ireland both record two wins, a play-off match must be played between both countries. It was won by Northern Ireland 2-1.

In group C, the host country Finland is victorious. They win their group for Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland.

In group D it was Wales with Eric Burden, Peter Locke, Martin Phillips & Geoff Tucker that narrowly won their group by beating the Netherlands in the last game. Raymond van Barneveld, Paul Hoogenboom, Bert Vlaardingerbroek & Hans Zeelenberg manage to keep up to 8-8. At an 8-8 score, the tiebreak is won by Welshman Eric Burden, who beats Paul Hoogenboom 2-1.

Netherlands would make an official complaint because the tiebreak rules] of the WDF said that in such a situation only one deciding leg should be played. In the program of the European Cup, this situation was not explained clearly and the best of 3 legs was played. Paul Hoogenboom won the first leg, but Eric Burden won the two subsequent legs and the game for Wales. WDF officials decided that the decisive leg should be replayed and only one leg would determine who would be the winner. The Dutch delegation agreed with the situation and Paul Hoogenboom again came up against Eric Burden. Eric Burden finally won this leg and Wales qualified for the semi-finals.

In the semi-finals top favourite England beats the Northern Ireland quartet Mitchell Crooks, Roy Baillie, Geoff Wylie & Dermot McGuinness 9-6. The Finns Kexi Heinaharju, Aulis Nissinen, Mauri Hakala & Heikki Hermunen get a 9-2 beating from Wales in front of their own audience. In the final the English team won with clear figures; Wales was defeated 9-3. It is the second time for Phil Taylor and Bob Anderson to win the team tournament. Alan Warriner takes this title for the first time, but John Lowe wins it for the fourth time.

Men’s Pairs tournament
In the pairs event both English pairs reached the semi-finals; Bob Anderson & John Lowe en Phil Taylor & Alan Warriner. One Scottish duo, Ronnie Sharp & Jamie Harvey and the strong Finnish pair Kexi Hainaharju & Aulis Nissinsen. The Finns confirmed their semi-final spot from a year earlier in the World Cup by beating the Scottish duo Jocky Wilson & Peter Johnstone in the second round and knocking out the strong Welsh pair Eric Burden & Martin Phillips from Wales in the quarterfinals.

In the first semi-final the Finns, supported by a lot of fans, took the win against the English duo Anderson & Lowe. The Finns qualified for the final 4-3. On the other side of the draw, there was an incident between Phil Taylor and the Scot Jamie Harvey. The Scottish pair went in front 2-0, when Phil Taylor reacted rather unprofessional and unsportsmanlike. When Taylor returned from the board, he walked straight up to Ronnie Sharp and made a few comments to the Scot. This happened twice and the Scottish team manager John Cook made the referee aware of this. Jamie Harvey was furious by the unsportsmanlike attitude of Taylor, but Ronnie Sharp had the most trouble with it. He was so impressed that he completely lost his throwing rhythm. As a result, the English came back to 2-1. But the incident was not done yet. Phil Taylor insisted his tricks and it came to an altercation between the world champion and Jamie Harvey and as a result, Alan Warriner interfered as well. Taylor refused to throw another dart, but the England team manager Olly Croft and Alan Warriner insisted that the game was continued. No one understood the attitude of Taylor and the joy was great when Jamie hurled the sixth leg and booked himself along with Ronnie Sharp a place in the final. Both Taylor and Warriner were playing at a very high level so this incident certainly was not needed. Olly Croft, after the game had a short but intense conversation with Taylor and the world number one went to apologize to Harvey and Sharp. An intervention of Croft showing clear results, because on the Sunday Taylor and Harvey were seen having a drink together. Remarkable fact is that this match is the only match Phil Taylor loses in his entire WDF Europe Cup career.

In the final Taylor even had a word of encouragement for the Scots against the Finnish duo Kexi Hainaharju & Aulis Nissinsen. An exciting final that was won for the television cameras by Ronnie Sharp & Jamie Harvey 4-3. This makes them the first Scottish couple ever to grab gold in the couples.

Men’s Singles tournament
The semi-finals of the singles event were almost an entirely English affair. Only Bob Anderson was not there, he lost 4-3 in the first round to Irishman Finian Fox. The surprise in the semi-finals was German ace Bernd Hebecker. En route to the semi-finals he beat Jocky Wilson with 4-1 in the second round.

In his semi-final the German narrowly lost 4-3 to the English captain John Lowe. In the second semi-final Phil Taylor defeated his teammate Alan Warriner 4-2. World Champion Phil Taylor won the final on stage with 4-2 against John Lowe. As a result, Taylor became the second player, after John Lowe, to successfully defend his WDF Europe Cup title.

Men’s Overall classification
The English team of met Phil Taylor, John Lowe, Alan Warriner en Bob Anderson won their eighth consecutive title in crushing manner with 164 points. Followed at a distance by Wales with 67 points. The host nation of Finland finished third with 54 points. Scotland this time with Jocky Wilson in their team was just like two years back in fourth with 53 points. Northern Ireland took fifth with 49 points.

Overall ranking
1 - 164 points England
2 - 67 points Wales
3 - 54 points Finland
4 - 53 points Scotland
5 - 49 points Northern Ireland
6 - 34 points Germany
7 - 33 points Belgium/ Norway
9 - 31 points Netherlands
10 - 22 points Sweden
11 - 21 points Denmark
12 - 19 points Ireland Republic
13 - 17 points Italy
14 - 12 points Switzerland
15 - 0 points France