England won both team events at the 2016 WDF Europe Cup on Saturday, but it was the host nation, the Netherlands, who were the overall winners.
The England men’s team went into the final day of the bi-annual tournament with just the team event to play for, as Glen Durrant, Scott Mitchell, Jamie Hughes and James Hurrell endured disappointing singles and pairs campaigns.
Durrant, Mitchell and Hughes were all knocked out in the first round of the men’s singles, while Hurrell departed in the last 32.
While in the men’s pairs, Durrant and Hughes lost out in the last 16 and Mitchell and Hurrell fared one round better in getting to the quarter-finals.
It was a completely different story for them in the men’s team event though, as they dropped just five legs in the group stage to qualify for the last 16.
Victories over the Czech Republic (9-1), Romania (9-2) and Italy (9-2) saw them top Group Eight, setting up a last 16 clash with Serbia.
England continued their dominance in the team event, beating Serbia (9-4), Finland (9-2) and Northern Ireland (9-1) to reach the final, where they took on hosts the Netherlands.
It proved to be their toughest test so far as they edged out the Dutch quartet of Wesley Harms, Richard Veenstra, Jeffrey Sparidaans and Gino Vos by nine legs to six to lift the title.
England’s win denied the Netherlands a clean sweep in the three men’s events, after they had earlier won both the men’s singles and pairs events.
Malta’s Norbert Attard stole the headlines on Thursday by reaching the semi-finals of the men’s singles and winning his country their first Europe Cup medal.
Veenstra ended his run with a 6-1 thrashing in the semi-finals to set up a final with Jim Williams, of Wales, who was aiming to hold both the World Cup and Europe Cup men’s singles titles at the same time.
But Veenstra prevailed in a closely fought final 7-5 to take the title, just hours after partnering Harms to men’s pairs glory.
The Dutch duo beat Scotland’s Ross Montgomery and Alan Soutar 6-2 in the final.
In the ladies competition, England reached all three finals but were only able to come away with one title on Saturday.
Deta Hedman and Lorraine Winstanley were pipped to the pairs title 6-5 by the Welsh pairing of Rhian Edwards and Rhian Griffiths, while Fallon Sherrock lost out 7-3 to Sharon Prins, of the Netherlands, in the singles final.
But they ended the tournament on a high, as reigning world champion Trina Gulliver joined up with them to beat the Netherlands 9-3 in the team event final.