2018 WDF Europe Cup XXI - Dames
From 26 to 29 September, the 21st edition of the WDF European Cup was held in the capital of Hungary, Budapest. In the men’s competition 38 different countries came to the oche, which is an absolute record for the WDF Europe Cup. Four countries left their ladies at home, but with 34 countries this edition is also a record breaker for the ladies. In the MOM Sports Centre an exciting tournament was played with some surprising winners. Ukraine is there for the first time, making it the 41st country to ever participate in a WDF Europe Cup.
Ladies Pairs tournament
In the pairs tournament, both English pairs reach the final. They certainly encounter resistance along the way, but no opponent wins more than two legs. Lorraine Winstanley & Fallon Sherrock beat the defending champions Rhian Griffiths & Rhian Edwards from Wales 5-1 in the semi-finals. The other English duo Deta Hedman & Maria O'Brien in turn beat the 2014 winners from Germany Irina Armstrong & Anne Willkomm.
The final is a great, exciting match. England is already assured of the overall victory long before this final and can therefore everyone can play without any pressure. The game goes into an eleventh and deciding leg, which is won by Deta Hedman & Maria O'Brien. England wins this event for the ninth time, but the last time was a long time ago in 2006. Deta Hedman becomes the third lady after Trina Gulliver and Karin Krappen who wins the pairs tournament three times. The Dark Destroyer previously won in 1994 with Tammy Montgomery and in 1996 with Mandy Solomons.
Ladies Singles tournament
In the women's singles, a surprising foursome remains in the semi-finals. None of the English ladies reach the last four and that is a surprise. The reigning champion Sharon Prins also does not make it to the semi’s nor do the ladies from Wales or Scotland. In the semi-finals it is the Irish Robyn Byrne who plays against Femke Herms from the Netherlands. The Dutch lady gets multiple matchdarts but does not hit the double. Byrne does and therefore she qualifies for the final. In the other semi-final, two ladies face each other who have defeated an English lady in the quarterfinals. Lorraine Winstanley is defeated by Norwegian Rachna David and Fallon Sherrock loses to Fiona Gaylor from Switzerland. In the semi-final Gaylor then is the better player. She beats Rachna David 6-3.
Switzerland and the Irish Republic had never had a player in the final of the WDF Europe Cup singles in the ladies before. History would therefore be written anyway. It becomes Swiss history. Robyn Byrne never settles in the final and very quickly falls behind. Fiona Gaylor wins the final 7-4 to claim her first ever international title.
Ladies Team tournament
In 2014 and 2016, the English women's team was far too strong for the other countries in the team tournament, and in 2018 they are of course again the odds-on favourites. Until the semi-finals, Deta Hedman, Lorraine Winstanley, Fallon Sherrock & Maria O'Brien lose a total of four legs in five games. Without knowing this in advance, the semi-final becomes the biggest test yet in WDF Cup history for the English ladies since the team tournament is inducted in 2014 with four ladies per team.
Vicky Pruim, Anna Forsmark, Maud Jansson & Susianne Hagvall from Sweden have beaten Northern Ireland in the quarterfinals and have the thankless task of playing against England in the semi-finals. They almost write history as the first team to beat England, but it doesn't get that far. They get chances to make it 8-8 but end up with seven legs won. No team has come this close to England in five years.
In the other semi-final, Sharon Prins, Anca Zijlstra, Vanessa Zuidema & Femke Herms win 9-3 for the Netherlands against the Scottish team consisting of Susanna McGimpsey, Emily Davidson, Lorraine Hyde & Chelsea McMahon. In the final it is "business as usual" again. The Netherlands never comes close to the English ladies. Deta Hedman, Lorraine Winstanley, Fallon Sherrock & Maria O'Brien take the gold with a 9-1 victory, now for the third time in a row. Hedman and Winstanley were in that team every year.
Ladies Overall classification
The overall victory goes to England for the third time in a row. Deta Hedman, Lorraine Winstanley, Fallon Sherrock & Maria O'Brien are especially unbeatable in the team tournament and that brings in many points. In total England collects 171 points. The Netherlands wins silver, but does not reach half the number of points, they finish at 80. Wales wins bronze with 63 points. Republic of Ireland comes fourth with 52 points and Switzerland fifth with 48 points. The Swiss never finished so high before in the ladies.
1 - 171 points England
2 - 80 points Netherlands
3 - 63 points Wales
4 - 52 points Republic Ireland
5 - 48 points Switzerland
6 - 47 points Scotland
7 - 40 points Sweden
8 - 38 points Germany
9 - 30 points Czechia
10 - 29 points Norway
11 - 26 points Russia
12 - 24 points Northern Ireland/ Austria
14 - 19 points Denmark
15 - 16 points Spain/ Finland
17 - 14 points Hungary/ Turkey
18 - 13 points Catalonia
20 - 12 points Greece/ Belgium
22 - 9 points Bulgaria/ Latvia
24 - 7 points France
25 - 6 points Italy
26 - 5 points Serbia
27 - 3 points Jersey/ Malta/ Ukraine
30 - 1 points Romania/ Lithuania/ Luxembourg
33 - 0 points Iceland/ Isle of Man