By Alex Moss
5 JUNE 2017 • 10:41PM
The Netherlands made it a hat-trick of Betway World Cup of Darts titles as Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld defeated the Welsh pairing of Gerwyn Price and Mark Webster in yesterday’s final in Frankfurt.
The pre-tournament favourites had begun the four-day event in disarray when it emerged on Friday afternoon that world champion van Gerwen was a doubt for the tournament with a foot injury, with Benito van de Pas travelling to Germany on stand-by to take his place.
But the world number one declared himself fit to play, and the two-time World Cup champions eased past the Czech Republic 5-1 in their first round tie on Friday night, before seeing off the United States of America and Germany in doubles deciders to make it through to the semi-finals.
Their title bid continued with a 2-0 victory over defending champions England in the last four, in a reverse result of last year’s thrilling final, before the Dutch duo then got the better of Wales in a repeat of the tournament’s inaugural final back in 2010.
Van Gerwen kicked off the final with a 4-0 whitewash of recent Coral UK Open finalist Price, before Webster produced a clinical display to defeat van Barneveld 4-1 to level the match.
In the doubles, the Netherlands raced into a 3-0 lead, before Price responded to van Gerwen’s 107 checkout by taking out 100 with two double tops as Wales hit back, but the second seeds got over the line in the next leg to seal a 4-1 win.
Van Barneveld then came back from a leg down to see off Price 4-2 in the final’s third singles tie, finishing off a 136 checkout in the process as he sealed his World Cup hat-trick and a share of the £60,000 top prize.
“This is fantastic,” van Gerwen said. “Only once a year we can play as a team and we’re going to enjoy this.
“If you’re in the tournament you want to win it. On paper we were the strongest couple but you still have to do it and we played well, especially in the pairs games we were absolutely fantastic.”
Van Barneveld, who has now won the World Cup three times, following successes in 2010 and 2014, added: “It was an amazing tournament and I’m so happy with my third World Cup title.
“Michael was really in agony on Friday and Benito came to be there if Michael couldn’t play. I’m happy he played, he’s a fighter and a battler and he was always there for me.
“If you look back to the pairs, it was unreal what we averaged. I was struggling in the singles but the pairs was our key thing, and I’m extremely happy with this.”
Pictures: Lawrence Lustig/PDC