THE Netherlands won the Betway World Cup of Darts for a third time as Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld defeated Wales' Gerwyn Price and Mark Webster in Sunday's final in Frankfurt.
The Dutch duo had begun the weekend in dramatic fashion when World Champion Van Gerwen emerged as a doubt with a foot injury - with Benito van de Pas travelling to Germany on stand-by.
However, after the world number one declared himself fit, the two-time champions eased past the Czech Republic and then saw off the United States of America and Germany in Doubles deciders at the Eissporthalle.
Their title bid continued with a 2-0 semi-final win over reigning champions England - avenging last year's defeat in the final - before they overcame Wales in a repeat of the 2010 final.
Van Gerwen opened the final with a 4-0 whitewash of UK Open finalist Price, before Webster clinically saw off Van Barneveld 4-1 to level matters.
The Dutch raced into a 3-0 lead in the Doubles tie, before Price responded to Van Gerwen's 107 checkout by taking out 100 with the aid of two double tops as Wales hit back, but double 16 sealed a 4-1 result.
Van Barneveld then came from a leg down to defeat Price 4-2 in the final's third Singles tie, hitting a 136 checkout in the process of sealing his World Cup hat-trick and a share of the £60,000 top prize.
"This is fantastic," said Van Gerwen. "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 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."
Wales' run to the final was their best finish in the tournament since Webster had been joined by Barrie Bates as they reached the 2010 decider, as they saw off Russia - for the loss of just one leg - and Belgium on Sunday.
"From day one we played pretty well, and if I knew on Thursday we'd be in the final I would have taken it," said Price. "I'm thrilled to be in the final.
"It's disappointing to lose, but it's hard to pull out a big performance against people like Raymond and Michael, they're on top of their game all the time."
Webster added: "We believed we could win but they hit the big shots at the right time. I'm really proud of what we've done, I've had a great weekend with Gezzy and enjoyed every minute of it."
Belgian duo Kim and Ronny Huybrechts had been bidding to emulate their run to the 2013 final as they saw off Singapore in a Doubles decider at the quarter-final stage.
That win over Singapore included younger brother Kim's stunning 121.97 average as he overcame Paul Lim 4-1 in the opening Singles tie of the day, recording the second highest televised average in history.
Host nation Germany took the Netherlands to a Doubles decider, with youngster Martin Schindler having led 2-0 before losing to Van Gerwen before Max Hopp overcame Van Barneveld 4-3, only for the Dutch to prevail 4-1 after pairing up once more.
Austria took England to a Doubles decider after Mensur Suljovic whitewashed Lewis in their opener, landing a 170 finish in the process, with Chisnall then seeing off Rowby-John Rodriguez 4-1 before the reigning champions edged through.
However, Lewis was made to pay for missing the bull to defeat Van Gerwen in their semi-final, before Van Barneveld's 4-2 defeat of Chisnall ended England's bid to win a fifth World Cup.
Betway World Cup of Darts
Sunday June 4
Singapore v Belgium
Singles One: Paul Lim 1-4 Kim Huybrechts
Singles Two: Harith Lim 4-2 Ronny Huybrechts
Doubles: Lim/Lim 2-4 Huybrechts/Huybrechts
Final Result: Singapore 1-2 Belgium
Russia v Wales
Singles One: Aleksandr Oreshkin 1-4 Gerwyn Price
Singles Two: Boris Koltsov 0-4 Mark Webster
Doubles: Oreshkin/Koltsov v Price/Webster - Not needed
Result : Russia 0-2 Wales
England v Austria
Singles One: Adrian Lewis 0-4 Mensur Suljovc
Singles Two: Dave Chisnall 4-1 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Doubles: Lewis/Chisnall 4-2 Suljovic/Rodriguez
Results: England 2-1 Austria
Germany v Netherlands
Singles One: Martin Schindler 2-4 Michael van Gerwen
Singles Two: Max Hopp 4-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Doubles: Schindler/Hopp 1-4 Van Gerwen/Van Barneveld
Result: Germany 1-2 Netherlands
Belgium v Wales
Singles One: Kim Huybrechts 2-4 Gerwyn Price
Singles Two: Ronny Huybrechts 2-4 Mark Webster
Doubles: Huybrechts/Huybrechts v Price/Webster - Not Needed
Result: Belgium 0-2 Wales
England v Netherlands
Singles One: Adrian Lewis 3-4 Michael van Gerwen
Singles Two: Dave Chisnall 2-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Doubles: Lewis/Chisnall v Van Gerwen/Van Barneveld - Not Needed
Result: England 0-2 Netherlands
Wales v Netherlands
Singles One: Gerwyn Price 0-4 Michael van Gerwen
Singles Two: Mark Webster 4-1 Raymond van Barneveld
Doubles: Price/Webster 1-4 Van Gerwen/Van Barneveld
Singles Three: Gerwyn Price 2-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Singles Four: Mark Webster v Michael van Gerwen - Not Needed
Result: Wales 1-3 Netherlands
Singapore produced one of the biggest shocks in the history of the Betway World Cup of Darts as they defeated number one seeds Scotland 5-2 on the opening day of the tournament.
The 32-nation tournament opened at the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt with the opening eight first round games on Thursday night, with former World Champion Gary Anderson and UK Open champion Peter Wright being dumped out at the first round stage.
Paul Lim, making his fourth consecutive appearance at the World Cup, opened the match by hitting a 180, which set the tone for the rest of the encounter, as Singapore broke throw in the opening leg.
Scotland looked to have restored order as they immediately broke back, with Gary Anderson hitting tops in the second leg.
However, Lim and his partner Harith Lim regained their lead by breaking the throw again in the third leg.
The match looked to be swinging back Scotland’s way as Singapore missed five darts for a second break in the fifth leg, allowing Scotland to close the gap to one.
However, it was to be the oldest player in the tournament who produced the magic moment as Paul Lim took out 100 on tops to seal a memorable win.
“This is a massive moment for Singapore, its a great win,” said Harith Lim after the match.
“When we saw the draw we were just happy to play against two of the best players in the world.
“I knew if we put them under pressure we would have a chance but to win the match is so fantastic.” Added 63-year-old Paul Lim.
Singapore will now face Spain who were provided with with a serious test before the pairing of Antonio Alcinas and Cristo Reyes prevailed in a 5-3 victory over Japan.
The Japanese side of Haruki Muramatsu and Yuki Yamada raced in to a 3-1 lead before a run of four straight legs confirmed the victory for the Spanish.
The 2017 Betway World Cup of Darts opened with the Greek team of John Michael and Ioannis Selachoglou having to battle back from 3-1 down to overcome Thailand in a 5-3 victory.
The Greeks will face Belgium who needed an impressive individual performance from Kim Huybrechts to help pull himself and his brother Ronny past New Zealand.
The match looked a tough draw for 2013 finalists Belgium but world number 12 Huybrechts showed his class hitting four maximums, as they ran out 5-2 winners.
“Ronny and I know that even when one of us played badly, the other can pull us through.” Said Kim.
“I played well today but I know next time I might need Ronny and I believe he will be there for me.”
Eighth seeds Australia then had to survive a match-dart as they snuck past Denmark to reach the second round.
The team of Kyle Anderson and Simon Whitlock were expected to have far too much for Per Laursen and Alex Jensen but the Dane’s had other ideas.
The third leg saw Australia break throw but Laursen returned the favour in the very next leg, taking out 116 to break back and level the match.
The encounter then went with throw until the deciding leg where Laursen missed tops for an unlikely win.
Whitlock, who was struggling with a wrist injury needed his partner to land the winning double.
“I needed my partner there.” Said Whitlock.
“My wrist is in a lot of pain so I just had to stick in there and let Kyle do the business.” Added the ‘Wizard’.
Kyle Anderson, who is making his second appearance at the Betway World Cup of Darts was happy to take the lead role.
“I had to play well tonight and I think I did that.
“I started a bit nervy but once I found my range it was all ok. Im delighted to get through that one.” Said Anderson.
Australia’s second round opponents will be Russia as Borris Koltsov produced a moment of magic to secure their place in the next round as they beat Hong King 5-3.
With the match going with throw the Russian took out 111 on double 16 to break the throw, a break which would ultimately win them the match.
The Republic of Ireland booked a second round clash with Wales after beating Poland 5-3 in a close encounter.
William O’connor started the match in style, taking out 106 to hold in the opening leg of the match.
However, it was Poland who were first to break the throw, pinning tops in the fifth leg for a 3-2 lead.
Mick McGowan then found double eight in the very next leg to break back immediately as Ireland went on to win three legs in a row and seal the win.
Mark Webster and Gerwyn Price had to average 100.14 and survive two match-darts as Wales snuck past Finland in a last leg decider.
The final match of the opening day of action in Frankfurt began with Finland moving in to a 2-0 lead to put the pressure on Wales.
However, Webster rose to the occasion taking out 124 on the bull to break back immediately.
The match then went with throw, including a seventh leg 141 finish from Finland as the match went to a deciding leg.
Finland then had two opportunities to win the tie but Kim Viljanen missed two darts at tops to seal the victory.
It was Webster who found the winning double, pinning double five before speaking of his relief.
“That was was tough! The guys played so well but fortunately I had Gerwyn with me, he was brilliant.
The scoring from him was great and fortunately I was there to tidy it up at the end.”
Price who hit four maximums and a 177 during the game was pleased with the win.
“It’s great to get over the line, I scored well but this is a team game and Mark hit the most important double of the night.” Said the 32-year old.
The first round concludes on Friday evening with the remaining eight games, including reigning champions England - represented by World cup debutant Dave Chisnall and Adrian Lewis - up against Gibraltar's Dyson Parody and Dylan Duo.
Betway World Cup of Darts
Thursday June 1 (8pm local time, 7pm BST)
Greece 5-3 Thailand
Russia 5-3 Hong Kong
Republic of Ireland 5-3 Poland
Spain 5-3 Japan
Belgium 5-2 New Zealand
Australia 5-4 Denmark
Singapore 5-2 Scotland
Wales 5-4 Finland
Friday June 2
USA v Italy
Hungary v Canada
Austria v China
South Africa v Sweden
Brazil v Switzerland
Northern Ireland v Germany
England v Gibraltar
Netherlands v Czech Repulic