2016 WDF Europe Cup XX - Heren
From 20 to 24 September, the twentieth edition of the WDF Europe Cup was held in the Dutch seaside town of Egmond aan Zee. In the men’s event 32 different countries toe the oche, which is a new record for the WDF Europe Cup. Six countries leave their ladies at home, but this still means a very strong field of 26 countries in the ladies. In hotel Zuiderduin, for years the setting for the Zuiderduin/Finder Masters the NDB and WDF put together a fantastic tournament, which runs very smoothly.
From the 2015 WDF World Cup Nick Rolls joined the WDF team as one of the officials on stage alongside “Little” Richard Ashdown and Jacques Nieuwlaat, so 2016 is his first WDF Europe Cup. The Dutch Darts Association NDB is hosting this tournament for the third time, they also organized the WDF Europe Cup in The Hague in 1984 and Veldhoven in 2000. Welshman Martin Phillips participates for the thirteenth and last time in this event and is the record holder. Malta is returning to the WDF Europe Cup family for their first Cup since 2000. There are no debutants this year.
Men’s Pairs tournament
Both Sweden and Ireland still have both pairs in the mix in the quarterfinals. Oskar Lukasiak & Andreas Harryson from Sweden beat the Greeks Gerasimos Krontiris & Stefanos Samouchos. The other Swedish pair Daniel Larsson & Tony Alanentalo lose in the same round to the Irish David O'Connor & John Flood. But Ireland also has only one pair left in the semi-finals. Michael Meaney & Steve Lennon must recognize the superiority of the Scottish tandem Ross Montgomery & Alan Soutar. The semi-finals are completed by the host nation the Netherlands. Richard Veenstra & Wesley Harms are already the current WDF World Cup pairs champions and they are now responsible for the exit of the defending champion Scott Mitchell, who pair’s with James Hurrell this year.
The Dutch had escaped a scare in the first round when the Danish duo Lars Helsinghof and Alex Jensen were narrowly beaten. But from that moment there is no stopping this well-oiled combination. In the semi-finals they deal 5-2 with the remaining Irish, while the Scots beat the last Sweden pair. In front of teeir home crowd Richard Veenstra & Wesley Harms grab the pairs title by beating the Scottish duo Ross Montgomery & Alan Soutar 6-2 in the final. Veenstra & Harms take the double with this title after they also won the WDF World Cup pairs last year. They are therefore the fifth pair to hold both titles simultaneously.
Men’s Singles tournament
Richard Veenstra becomes the third Dutchman, after Co Stompé and Raymond van Barneveld, to win WDF Europe Cup singles. It was a surprising year in 2016 with fourteen different nationalities in the last 16 and eight in the quarterfinals.
Perhaps even more striking is the lack of an Englishman or a Scot in the last 16. Veenstra beats the Maltese player Norbert Attard in the semi-finals who makes history becoming the first player in history to win a medal for that country. In the other semi-final, Welshman Jim Williams proves too strong for Sweden’s Andreas Harryson. The final is one of high level and won 7-5 by the Dutchman.
Men’s Team Event
In the team tournament it is Poland that gives the tournament colour. The foursome Krzysztof Chmielewski, Grzegorz Dzialkowski, Krzysztof Gontarewicz & Pawel Wolynka reach the quarterfinals. That is the end station because Scotland is too strong with 9-7. The Netherlands beats Sweden 9-4, Northern Ireland knocks out Denmark 9-6 and England cruises past Finland in the quarterfinals 9-2.
Wesley Harms, Gino Vos, Richard Veenstra & Jeffrey Sparidaans play the entire tournament with conviction in front of their own audience. In the semi-finals they also cannot be stopped by the Scottish team of Ross Montgomery, Steven Ritchie, Alan Soutar & Craig Quinn. It finishes 9-6 for the Netherlands. Although the WDF Europe Cup is not very successful for the English men's team, there is still success in the end. Glen Durrant, Scott Mitchell, Jamie Hughes & James Hurrell beat Neil Duff, Kyle McKinstry, Chris Gilliland & Peter Shaw from Northern Ireland 9-1 in the semi-finals.
Because the men's team final is traditionally been the closing of the tournament in recent years and the Dutch foursome is already certain of the overall victory, everyone can play freely. Only for Richard Veenstra there is something "extra" at stake, he can take all four gold medals at one Cup and thus would get on an illustrious list. Unfortunately for Veenstra, the English don't want to help with his party. Wesley Harms, Gino Vos, Richard Veenstra & Jeffrey Sparidaans come up short in the end and lose to the English foursome Glen Durrant, Scott Mitchell, Jamie Hughes & James Hurrell 9-6. It is the twelfth time that England wins this team event, but the previous title was twelve years ago in 2004.
Men’s Overall classification
The host country further increases the festivities by winning the overall Men’s WDF Europe Cup. Notably Richard Veenstra here has a large share in this achievement winning the singles and pairs with Wesley Harms. Gino Vos, Wesley Harms, Richard Veenstra & Jeffrey Sparidaans collect 125 points. Well ahead of England, which has to settle for second place this year with 87 points. Sweden wins the bronze with 72 points. Scotland comes in fourth, Finland and Wales share fifth.
1 - 125 points Netherlands
2 - 87 points England
3 - 72 points Sweden
4 - 64 points Scotland
5 - 40 points Finland/ Wales
7 - 39 points Northern Ireland
8 - 37 points Ireland Republic
9 - 34 points Denmark
10 - 33 points Malta
11 - 25 points Norway
12 - 24 points Belgium/ Serbia
14 - 23 points Germany/ Poland
16 - 19 points Lithuania/ Luxembourg
18 - 18 points Italy
19 - 14 points France
20 - 13 points Greece
21 - 10 points Romania
22 - 7 points Czech Republic/ Gibraltar/ Switzerland
25 - 5 points Catalonia/ Hungary
27 - 4 points Cyprus/ Latvia
29 - 2 points Turkey
30 - 1 point Iceland/ Isle of Man/ Jersey