2000 WDF Europe Cup XII - Heren
The twelfth WDF Europe Cup was held in Veldhoven from 11 to 14 October. The Netherlands will host the WDF Europe Cup for the second time after The Hague in 1984. 21 Countries participate in the men's competition, 19 in the women's competition. For the first time since 1992, this means a decline in the number of participating countries. There are a lot of spectators present at this edition. This is undoubtedly due to the high expectations of the host country. There is a darts hype in the Netherlands since the World Championship titles of Raymond van Barneveld in 1998 and 1999.
Men’s Pairs tournament
Raymond van Barneveld does a lot better in the pairs than in the singles. Together with Co Stompé, he reaches the semi-finals by means of a 4-0 win over the English duo Martin Adams & Kevin Painter and the same victory over Ulf Ceder & Kim Viljanen in the quarterfinals. Just like in the singles, the pairs also has seven different nationalities in the quarterfinals. Only the Netherlands is represented by two. In addition to Van Barneveld & Stompé, Frans Harmsen & Arjan Moen also reach this round. This is the final destination for them. They lose 1-4 to the other English pair Mervyn King & Ted Hankey. Robert Hughes & Martin Phillips from Wales win in the quarterfinals against the Austrian duo Mensur Suljovic & Axel Tschinkowitz. In the last quarterfinals it is Scotland with Gary Anderson & Bob Taylor that is too strong for the Northern Irish tandem Mitchell Crooks & Paul Watton.
In the first semi-final England wins against Wales with clear numbers, 4-0. To the great pleasure of the home crowd, the Dutch also qualify for the final. They beat the Scots 4-1. The finale is a thriller. Only after seven legs there is a winner and that is the Dutch pair. Raymond van Barneveld & Co Stompé beat Mervyn King & Ted Hankey 4-3. It is the first gold medal in the pairs for the Netherlands.
Men’s Singles tournament
However, Van Barneveld doesn't get very far in the singles. In his second game he already crashes out 3-4 against the Finn Marko Pusa. Who in turn also immediately loses a round later to the Northern Irishman Mitchell Crooks. The quarterfinals include seven different nationalities. The last remaining Dutchman Arjan Moen loses here to the Welshman Ritchie Davies. The last Englishman also loses in the last eight when Martin Adams finds his Waterloo against Sean McGowan from Ireland. The Danes are still with two players left in the quarterfinals. Frede Johansen beats the Austrian ace Mensur Suljovic, while Brian Sørensen loses to the previously mentioned Northern Irishman Mitchell Crooks.
What remains are four surprising semi-finalists who will all dream of a gold medal. Mitchell Crooks continues to play well and beats the Dane Johansen 4-0 without any problems. The other semi-final is a close and exciting one. Ritchie Davies eventually wins it in a seventh and deciding leg against Irishman McGowan. In the final Crooks continues to play very strong and Davies is no match for him either. With a 4-2 win, Crook makes history for Northern Ireland. He becomes the first man to win a gold medal for his country, two years after Denise Cassidy has won the women's singles, Mitchell Crooks takes the men's gold.
Men’s Team Event
Due to the disappointing number of countries, the group phase this year was not very exciting, nor was it surprising. Only in group H with Finland, Scotland and Sweden a victim of reputation would fall. Because all teams in that group win one game, the leg difference is decisive and the Swedes are out.
In the quarterfinals are the countries you can expect there. Scotland beats Wales 9-2. Host nation Netherlands is also far too strong for their southern neighbours and they take 9-3 revenge for the defeat of two years ago against the Belgiums. England also wins with a big maegin against the Danes who win four legs. The final quarterfinals is the most exciting. The Finnish quartet defeats the Northern Irish in a seventeenth and deciding leg.
Both semi-finals made sure everyone stayed on the edge of their seat. Raymond van Barneveld, Co Stompe, Frans Harmsen & Arjan Moen competed against the Scottish foursome Gary Anderson, Bob Taylor, Mike Veitch & Alan Brown on behalf of the Netherlands. In the seventeenth and final leg, it is the Netherlands that takes the win for its home crowd. The other semi-final also goes the full distance. Team England with Mervyn King, Kevin Painter, Martin Adams & Ted Hankey have their hands full with the Finnish quartet Ulf Ceder, Jarkko Komula, Marko Pusa & Kim Viljanen. However, the English also prevail in the last leg.
The final will not only decide on the gold in the team tournament, but also which country will take off with the overall title. It will be a disappointing final, at least for the neutral viewer and the Dutch fans. England is far too strong and wins 9-3, taking the team title for the tenth time. It is also for the sixth time in a row.
Men’s Overall classification
Mainly due to the victory in the team tournament, Mervyn King, Kevin Painter, Martin Adams & Ted Hankey take the overall title on behalf of England. It is the eleventh time that England takes the gold medal. They collect a total of 121 points. The Netherlands finished second overall for the second time in their history. The 111 points are enough for the silver. Wales takes home the bronze with 62 points. Three points more than Scotland in fourth place and four points more than Northern Ireland in fifth place, but with a golden edge for Mitchell Crooks with his singles victory.
1 - 121 points England
2 - 111 points Netherlands
3 - 62 points Wales
4 - 59 points Scotland
5 - 58 points Northern Ireland
6 - 43 points Finland
7 - 42 points Denmark
8 - 34 points Austria/ Belgium
10 - 20 points Ireland Republic
11 - 17 points Germany
12 - 12 points Sweden
13 - 10 points Italy/ Norway
15 - 7 points France
16 - 6 points Malta
17 - 5 points Cyprus
18 - 3 points Hungary/ Switzerland
20 - 1 point Isle of Man