SCOTLAND were crowned as BetVictor World Cup of Darts champions for the first time on Sunday night as Gary Anderson and Peter Wright overcame the Republic of Ireland 3-1 in the final in Hamburg.
The Scottish pair have been defeated twice previously in the final of the annual pairs tournament, losing out to England in 2015 and the Netherlands 12 months ago.
However, this time they went all the way as they denied Steve Lennon and William O’Connor a remarkable triumph.
The Republic of Ireland had never won past the Last 16 in the previous eight World Cup tournaments, but followed up a round two demolition of England by defeating Austria and the Netherlands on Sunday to defy the odds and reach the final.
Their semi-final triumph over reigning champions Netherlands was particularly memorable, as they whitewashed Michael van Gerwen and Jermaine Wattimena 4-0 in the Doubles decider with the aid of finishes of 131 and 128 from Lennon.
Lennon also opened the final with a 4-2 win over Gary Anderson, but Wright’s 4-2 defeat of O’Connor saw them level before an outstanding Doubles whitewash moved them 2-1 up overall.
Wright then sealed glory for Scotland for the first time as he defeated Lennon 4-1 in their Singles tie to secure the £70,000 top prize and become only the third nation to win the event.
“I’m over the moon,” said Wright. “To play with Gary, the best player on the planet, is an honour, and it’s about time we did it.
“We’re both quality players and we should have won it ages ago, but it’s happened now, we’ve got that monkey off our backs.
“We’ve got to the final before and run out of steam in the past. We clicked this year and that’s why we won. Instead of those silver medals, we’ve got gold ones!”
The Scots had earlier raced past both Belgium and Japan with 2-0 wins to secure their place in the final, marking a hugely successful return to action for Anderson following his treatment for a back problem.
“I came here not knowing what to expect and it’s been good, a confidence lifter,” said Anderson. “Ireland in the semi-finals were fantastic, and they’ve been good.
“I’m quite happy. My throw’s still not 100 percent but we got there. We played the right games at the right times.
“It’s special. We’ve been beaten by the best in the world and it’s taken them to beat us, but we got there at last.”
Ireland had begun Sunday’s action with a 2-1 quarter-final defeat of Austria, whitewashing their opponents 4-0 in the Doubles decider.
They then secured the biggest win of their careers in a superb semi-final to end the Netherlands’ title defence.
Lennon had lost 4-3 to World Champion Van Gerwen in their Singles tie, but O’Connor swept aside Wattimena 4-1 before they limited the Dutch to just one dart at a double in the decisive Doubles contest.
Lennon admitted: “Obviously we’re gutted. We’ve done so well to get here but we will try and take the positives from it.
“I think we played brilliant as a team. Getting to the final was immense, we couldn’t have dreamed of it.
“[Scotland] were brilliant, it’s why they’re two of the best players in the world but we showed what we can do and we’ll hopefully be back here next year.”
O’Connor added: “I’ll look back on the whole tournament positively. Myself and Steve are in the final of the World Cup, it’s a dream come true.
“I knew we could do it and it’s a pity we couldn’t go that one step further. I’m proud to represent Ireland.
“Scotland threw some unreal darts in the final, and the fans were absolutely fantastic all weekend.”
New Zealand’s run to a first World Cup quarter-final saw the challenge of Cody Harris and Haupai Puha ended with a 2-0 loss to Japan’s Seigo Asada and Haruki Muramatsu.
Canada’s Dawson Murschell claimed a memorable 4-2 Singles win over Van Gerwen in their quarter-final, only to see Wattimena overcome Jim Long 4-2 before the Dutch took the Doubles contest 4-1.
Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts and Dimitri Van den Bergh were unable to match last year’s semi-final appearance as they lost out 2-0 to Belgium in the last eight, where Austria also exited the event.
2019 BetVictor World Cup of Darts
Sunday June 9
Japan 2-0 New Zealand
Singles One: Seigo Asada 4-1 Cody Harris
Singles Two: Haruki Muramatsu 4-3 Haupai Puha
Doubles: (Not Needed)
Scotland 2-0 Belgium
Singles One: Gary Anderson 4-2 Kim Huybrechts
Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Doubles: (Not Needed)
Republic of Ireland 2-1 Austria
Singles One: Steve Lennon 4-1 Zoran Lerchbacher
Singles Two: William O’Connor 0-4 Mensur Suljovic
Doubles: Republic of Ireland 4-0 Austria
Netherlands 2-1 Canada
Singles One: Michael van Gerwen 2-4 Dawson Murschell
Singles Two: Jermaine Wattimena 4-2 Jim Long
Doubles: Netherlands 4-1 Canada
Scotland 2-0 Japan
Singles One: Gary Anderson 4-2 Seigo Asada
Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-1 Haruki Muramatsu
Doubles: (Not Needed)
Republic of Ireland 2-1 Netherlands
Singles One: Steve Lennon 3-4 Michael van Gerwen
Singles Two: William O’Connor 4-1 Jermaine Wattimena
Doubles: Republic of Ireland 4-0 Netherlands
Scotland 3-1 Republic of Ireland
Singles One: Gary Anderson 2-4 Steve Lennon
Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-2 William O’Connor
Doubles: Scotland 4-0 Republic of Ireland
Singles Three: Peter Wright 4-1 Steve Lennon
Singles Four: Gary Anderson v William O’Connor (Not Needed)