Wales and Netherlands made impressive starts on the opening night of the World Cup of Darts in Frankfurt. Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton delivered a maiden World Cup title for Wales in 2020, and they look like one of the teams to beat again. Price and Clayton always looked like one of the strongest teams by far on paper, and they backed those credentials with a dominant display to beat Lourence Ilagan and RJ Escaros of the Philippines. The second seeds were impressive throughout, producing a 99 average to set up a last-16 clash with the Austrian team of Mensur Suljovic and Rowby-John Rodriguez. "I've been doubting myself recently, so today was a big confidence boost," admitted 2021 world champion Price. "We have a great bond," Clayton added. "As long as we play our game, I think we've got a fantastic chance of getting our title back." A new-look Netherlands team of Danny Noppert and Dirk van Duijvenbode were in total control against Brazil, who suffered a humiliating whitewash. With Michael van Gerwen absent due to arm surgery, it came as a welcome boost for the Dutch duo. There was also success for Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan, although they only just sneaked past a tricky Gibraltar pair of Justin Hewitt and Craig Galliano. "I've been telling everybody all week, we are going to win it," insisted Gurney.
"I've got one of the best gentlemen, one of the best dart players in the world playing alongside me. I would absolutely love to win the World Cup with Brendan."
Northern Ireland - World Cup of darts
Germany were another notable winner on day one, with Gabriel Clemens and Martin Schindler winning an epic against Spain's Jose Justicia and Tony Martinez in front of the Frankfurt crowd. "I have no words," said Clemens. "It's amazing. I am so happy. "It is a lot of pressure because you want to win for the fans, but I hope we have a full crowd on Saturday, and hopefully we can have another great game."
World Cup of Darts results (Thursday June 16)
Denmark 5-2 Singapore New Zealand 5-3 Switzerland Republic of Ireland 5-2 Canada Austria 5-3 Finland Northern Ireland 5-3 Gibraltar Wales 5-2 Philippines Germany 5-4 Spain Netherlands 5-0 Brazil
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