Australia banish demons with maiden World Cup of Darts triumph in sublime final win over Wales

Ten years ago, Australia had their best chance to win the World Cup of Darts losing to England's Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis in sudden death heartbreak for Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson.

But for Whitlock and Australia, he has finally achieved darting destiny by sealing the 2022 edition alongside the new star of Aussie darts in 'The Heat' Damon Heta who brought it home in a thrilling 3-1 points win as he saw off Gerwyn Price and then finally Jonny Clayton after 'The Wizard' had missed a match dart in the pairs rubber nearly 10 years on from doing the same.

To start off the final, like alluded to Heta faced Gerwyn Price and got the first point on the board with a superb victory over ‘The Iceman’.

Price missed a 118 checkout to break in the opening leg and Heta pinned double eight to go 1-0 up. Again Price missed darts and Heta snuck double 18 into the corner to break and go 2-0 up.

Heta missed 116 for a 3-0 lead but Price could not pin 112 so the former returned to hold and make it 3-0 and with Price well back, he was allowed two turns to seal it on double eight.

Simon Whitlock continued where Heta left off with a 4-2 triumph over Jonny Clayton and their first chance would come as a result in the pairs for the Aussie’s to seal the title.

To begin the tie, a 137 left double 12 for Clayton in a superb leg but ‘The Ferret’ nestled the same three darts on the wire. Whitlock though chucking a dart away in a prior visit saw his focus go but three more darts went begging and ‘The Wizard’ conjured a dart at double 20 to steal a hold at 1-1.

Clayton missed 106 to hold but Whitlock couldn’t get a dart at 130 and he went 2-1 up. A 130 set up saw Whitlock leave 16 before he finally hit double four after Clayton missed 118 to break and it was 2-2.

Clayton hit 177 to leave double 13 on his own throw but Whitlock hit a 120 checkout to go one away from 2-0 points lead.

He started his throw with two treble visits and hit 138 to leave double 20. He spurned three darts for the win but Clayton missed 123 on the bull only to return with three more match darts going begging. But finally, after Clayton went inside on the double eight did Whitlock get over the line.

But memories will have been evoked of 2012 as Simon Whitlock missed a match dart in the pairs tie to hand Australia the tie and kept Wales involved at 2-1 down with Heta v Clayton pivotal for the title for the Aussies.

To begin the tie, Whitlock was inspired and produced a brilliant 180 to begin the pairs tie for Australia. He hit a 93 to leave 68 for Heta which he hit with a superb marker.

Wales failed to get going and Whitlock pinned double 20 to go 2-0 up with a break and two away from the title. It was ‘The Wizard’ who continued to lead with some awesome power scoring but after 143 was missed by Clayton for a break, Price returned for double eight with Heta unable to get a dart at 124.

It was a break back and they were throwing for 2-2. Price pinned a 180 and Clayton did the same to leave double six with Whitlock left 127 which he didn’t get a shot at and it was set up for a tense conclusion.

Australia stopped a mini rot of sorts with a hold to go one away with double eight hit by Whitlock. Both were producing superb power scoring as Wales aimed to stay in the World Cup but a 60 from Heta saw Wales force a decider on double 18.

Wales’ scoring dried up at the start of the leg and Australia continued to find a treble a turn. They had six darts at 212. Heta drifted into the five on 116 as he seized up but Whitlock looked at match darts but missed double 18 for the title. Only for Clayton to hit double eight to get a point back.

But it was Heta who like alluded to sealed glory for the Aussies with a tense win over Clayton sealing it 4-2 in the end in the fourth match of the final.

Heta looked to recompose after the pairs and began well against Clayton breaking throw after the latter missed 112 for a hold.

He began 137 and caught the flight for a quick fire 180 with a 120 as a result but he followed it up by holding throw to make it 2-0 and going halfway to finally winning.

His average sat at 103 and he kept the pressure on Clayton to produce which he did hitting a 136 to leave double 20 which he snuck in to hold and make it 2-1.

All pressure was now on Heta to hold and go one away. It tolled to begin the leg but he produced a 180 when he needed it most to leave 105. He missed 105 on the wire to go one away but Clayton missed the same double to break and Heta went one away.

Clayton missed three darts to hold and Heta returned to miss a match dart on double 20. Clayton kept them alive though on double four.

Again the trebles dried up for Heta but a slip from Clayton saw ‘The Heat’ turn it up with a maximum. He followed that up with a 130 to leave 71 and he had no pressure from Clayton with six at 71 incoming. He missed two more match darts at double 16 but finally sealed it.

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