2014 WDF Europe Cup XIX - Dames
After two editions in Turkey, the European Cup will stay in Eastern Europe for 2014. Again, a young organization gets the responsibility for the nineteenth WDF Europe Cup; Romania. From 23 to 27 September, the Intercontinental Hotel in Bucharest is the royal setting for this Cup.
For the first time there are four ladies per team, until 2014 there were always two. This means that an extra day of play is added to the schedule. From now on, the teams will play over four days and the opening ceremony is the day before. Men from 30 countries come to the Romanian capital and 25 countries also bring their ladies. It was a very cosy and friendly European Cup. No debutants at this Cup, but Cyprus does return for the first time since 2000.
Ladies Pairs tournament
Because the women's teams consist of four players from 2014, there are also two pairs in competition from each country. Both English duos reach the semi-finals. Deta Hedman & Lorraine Winstanley win 4-0 against Hanne Johnson & Janni Larsen from Denmark. Without losing a leg at all throughout the tournament Lisa Ashton & Trina Gulliver qualify for the semi-final. In the quarterfinals they are too strong for Grace Crane & Jennifer Mullan from Northern Ireland. Aileen de Graaf pairs with Anneke Kuijten and the Dutch duo beat Maud Jansson & Anna Forsmark from Sweden in the quarterfinals, also here it finishes 4-0. Elaine Powell & Chris Savvery from Wales do get a leg on the board, but Irina Armstrong & Anne Willkomm win 4-1 on behalf of Germany.
In the semi-finals it ends unexpectedly for both English pairs. Hedman & Winstanley lose to the Netherlands 5-3. The same numbers appear at the end of the match between the German pair and Ashton & Gulliver. The final is a close affair. An eleventh and deciding leg must decide who wins. In the end Irina Armstrong & Anne Willkomm take the gold medal for Germany for the first time in history at a WDF Europe Cup. They beat Aileen de Graaf & Anneke Kuijten 6-5.
Ladies Singles tournament
The quarterfinals are all fairly one-sided in the ladies singles. Irina Armstrong, playing for Germany since 2012, wins 5-2 against the Polish Jolanta Rzepka. The other three quarterfinals all end in 5-0. Deta Hedman beats Norway's Ramona Mostad-Eriksen, Lorraine Winstanley wins against France's Carole Frison and Anastasia Dobromyslova beats Sweden's Maud Jansson.
The semi-finals and the final are a lot more exciting. The English battle between Deta Hedman and Lorraine Winstanley is won 6-4 by Hedman. The former teammates Dobromyslova and Armstrong, who won gold together for Russia in 2007 in the WDF World Cup pairs, are producing an exciting match. In an eleventh and deciding leg it is Dobromyslova who takes the victory.
It is the third WDF Europe Cup singles final that Deta Hedman reaches. She previously reached the final in 1994 and 1996. As in 1996, she has to settle for silver. Anastasia Dobromyslova takes the gold with a 7-5 victory. Never before has Russia won gold at a WDF Europe Cup.
Ladies Team tournament
With four players per team, the English team is an even bigger pre-tournament favourite than with two ladies per team. In theory they are the strongest looking at the World rankings, in reality that will also be the case. Against Poland and Greece it ends 9-0 twice in the group. In the last 16, the Russian team led by Anastasia Dobromyslova offers the most resistance. They win four legs. The Czech Republic in the quarterfinals wins two and Finland in the semi-finals not one.
The big question therefore is who will reach the final in the other side of the schedule. One of the favourites, Wales quickly loses to the surprising Danes. Scotland also immediately goes out against the Irish foursome. Hanne Johnson, Janni Larsen, Henriette Honore & Berit Schouw from Denmark also beat the Irish in the quarterfinals, but they also lose all energy. They are so happy with the bronze medal that the semi-final against Sharon Prins, Tamara Schuur, Aileen de Graaf & Anneke Kuijten from the Netherlands ends in disappointment. It finishes 9-3 for the Orange quartet.
The final shows how much stronger the English team is in depth than the rest of Europe. The Dutch team with Sharon Prins, Tamara Schuur, Aileen de Graaf & Anneke Kuijten, who all belong to the global top or sub-top, is no match. Deta Hedman, Lisa Ashton, Lorraine Winstanley & Trina Gulliver win 9-3 to become the first ladies team champions ever at a WDF Europe Cup.
Ladies Overall classification
The big pre-tournament favourites actually win the WDF Europe Cup for women in 2014. Deta Hedman, Lisa Ashton, Lorraine Winstanley & Trina Gulliver collect 148 points, which is more than enough for the gold. Silver goes to the Dutch quartet with 113 points. The bronze is for Wales with 83 points. Germany take home a gold pairs medal back home, but overall they have to settle for fourth place with 81 points. The gap to number five Swedes, which ends at 42 points, is huge.
1 - 142 points England
2 - 96 points Netherlands
3 - 82 points Germany
4 - 48 points Russia
5 - 45 points Sweden
6 - 41 points Denmark
7 - 37 points Wales
8 - 35 points Finland
9 - 28 points Scotland
10 - 23 points Ireland Republic
11 - 22 points Northern Ireland
12 - 20 points Turkey/ Norway
14 - 18 points Poland
15 - 17 points France
16 - 15 points Czech Republic
17 - 13 points Italy
18 - 10 points Greece
19 - 8 points Austria
20 - 7 points Switzerland/ Serbia
22 - 5 points Belgium
23 - 2 points Romania
24 - 0 points Bulgaria/ Iceland