The Cazoo World Cup of Darts returned to Frankfurt after a four-year absence, after Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld won the competition for Holland against Scotland in 2018. 2020 champions Wales beat the Philippines 5-2 as Jonny Clayton and Gerwyn Price averaged 99.17 combined and included a maximum in beating Lourence Ilagen and RJ Escaros.
Red Dragon star Price stole the show on the opening day at the Eissporthalle finding two ton plus checkouts in the match, including 108 to win their fifth and final leg after hitting double tops to send Clayton and his country through to the Second Round.
The Iceman also hit a 106 checkout on double sixteen, roaring to the German crowd after taking a 3-2 lead on throw. The Ferret also contributed to the Welsh success on Day 1 hitting 84 on double twelve with his second dart to win their first leg, settling the pair down knowing they had put a leg on the board.
Last year’s runners up Austria provide a difficult task for the former World and Premier League Champion next, with Rowby-John Rodriguez and Mensur Suljovic sweeping aside Finland 5-3 earlier on in the night. After losing last year to Peter Wright and John Henderson, the country will want to go one better this year in Frankfurt with The Gentle finding 96 on double fourteen with his last dart in what was their highest finish of the match.
New look Dutch pair Danny Noppert and Dirk van Duijvenbode settled any pre-tournament nerves, being the only nation on the opening day to win by a whitewash victory. Diogo Portela and Arthur Valle had to stand and watch Winmau star Danny Noppert finish three consecutive legs, as the third seeds cruised to a 5-0 victory.
The Freeze found double ten with his last dart to break the Samba Boys for the second time in the match, before hitting double six with his second dart for the fifth and final leg. The pair threw two maximums on the oche and averaged 9 points higher than their opponents, scoring 87.38 to go through and face Ireland in the next round.
Steve Lennon and William O’Connor have reached a Final in this competition before back in 2019 and started strong again this year beating Canada 5-3. Scuba Steve was the better player for Ireland across the match, but 35-year-old O’Connor sealed their fifth and final leg hitting double seven for a place in the Second Round.
Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan survived a scare against young Gibraltar duo Justin Hewitt and Craig Galliano, as Northern Ireland won 5-3 to go through in Frankfurt. The moment of magic came from Superchin, hitting the bullseye to finish 135 in the seventh leg for a 4-3 lead. Partner Dolan found tops with his last dart for their fifth and Final leg, looking for a good run for the first time since 2016.
The Winmau players are through to face New Zealand in the next round after Ben Robb and Warren Parry beat Switzerland 5-3 in the opening match of the night.
Action continues on Sky Sports tonight with defending champions Scotland kicking off their defence against Hong Kong, whilst number 1 seeds England face a difficult test in the Czech Republic in more First Round action.
World Cup of Darts 2022: First Round Results:
Denmark 5-2 Singapore
New Zealand 5-3 Switzerland
Ireland 5-2 Canada
Austria 5-3 Finland
Northern Ireland (6) 5-3 Gibraltar
Wales (2) 5-2 Philippines
Germany (7) 5-4 Spain
Netherlands (3) 5-0 Brazil
Friday Order of Play:
Latvia v Hungary
Poland v USA
Sweden v South Africa
Portugal v Italy
Australia (5) v Lithuania
England (1) v Czech Republic
Scotland (8) v Hong Kong
Belgium (4) v Japan