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Pre-tournament favourites the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland, both showed class throughout, remaining unbeaten throughout the group stage. The Dutch were dealt a scare when a gritty Gibraltar performance took them all the way to a last leg decider, but the favourites prevailed. 

Ireland topped the averages table in the initial stages, with 71 and 74 averages seeing off Wales and the Netherlands respectively. Captain Keane Barry proved to be a star player in the Irish line-up, with his trio of teammates keeping up performances throughout the day. 

England also won through to the final four in convincing fashion. Routine wins over China and Sweden were back up with a nail-biting victory over the Scots. Tavis Dudeney would produce his best darts at the crucial moments, pulling out a 13-darter to seal victory. 

Despite their defeat to ‘the old enemy’ Scotland would drop just two more legs as they powered through to the semi-finals, setting up a meeting with Keith O’Neill’s Irish contingent. 

In an action packed semi-final Ireland defeated an out of sorts Scotland over six sets. Keane Barry and Killian Heffernan made light work of their singles matchups, while Katie Sheldon produced another sensational display to put Ireland in control. 

The aforementioned Barry and Heffernan would lose their doubles encounter with Nathan Girvan and Connor Mitchell, so it was left for Sheldon and Sean Cummins to pick up the pieces. 

Cummins would begin the 601 leg with an outstanding 180, and his explosive nature would be a feature of the final leg. Some power scoring from the 15-year-old gave himself time and space to hit the winning double ten and send Ireland through to the World Cup final. 

The path to the final was considerably easier for a strong Dutch contingent. Having raced into a 3-0 lead in their semi-final with England, it took just one doubles match for them to confirm their place in the final. 

In a sensational final, Jurjen van der Velde gave the Netherlands the early initiative, an 88 checkout securing the advantage. Sean Cummins would soon restore parity with a high scoring 2-1 victory over Daan Bastiaansen. 

Keane Barry would then give Ireland a one leg cushion at the half way stage. The experienced captain of the side recording a 2-0 victory. But back came the Netherlands again. Owen Roelofs this time the beneficiary as Katie Sheldon failed to keep up the pressure on the Dutch. 

The tide would be turned the Netherlands way in the all important doubles ties. The consistently strong pairings of the Dutch proved too much for a less experienced Ireland team as the Netherlands were crowned GoDartsPro World Cup champions.

 

BY JOSH GREEN 

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