England make last four of World Cup before going out

DESPITE bowing out of the JDC World Cup at the semi-final stage, the young England quartet should be very proud of their achievements, especially having gone through the round robin stages undefeated.

They began their quest against the USA and despite losing the first point, Plymouth's Keelan Kay levelled with a 2-0 victory, followed by a 2-1 success from Tavis Dudeney.

Kyle Manton then made it 3-1 before the pairing of Kay and Dudeney won a 601 doubles leg to emerge 4-1 winners.

SEMI-FINALISTS: The young England team who did exceptionally well to get to the last four of the World Cup before bowing out to European champions The Netherlands. From left to right: Kyle Manton, Keelan Kay, Brad Phillips and Tavis Dudeney.

England then faced China and Kay gave his team the perfect start when emerging a 2-0 winner in 17 and 18, finishing with an out shot of 102 for a 28.63 average.

Dudeney then made it 2-0, followed by a 2-1 success from Manton, before Brad Phillips sealed a 4-0 victory.

England’s first real test came in the form of Scotland and the team from north of the border won the opening point through the experienced Nathan Girvan.

Fourteen-year-old Dudeney, the youngest member of the English team, came from behind to defeat Connor Mitchell 2-1, aided by a maximum in the deciding leg which he won in 13, before Kyle Walker restored Scotland’s lead.

England drew level for the second time when Phillips (29.47) emerged a 2-0 winner in 18 and 16 against Johnny Gallazzi and then moved ahead for the first time in the match when Phillips and Manton won the first doubles, followed by another pairs success from Kay and Dudeney.

Sweden were England’s final opponents in the round robin stages and went one up through Kay when he emerged a 2-1 winner in 16 and 21.

Dudeney then won in straight legs, aided by a maximum, before the scoreline moved along to 3-0 when Manton (25.69) won the first leg in 21, before finishing an 18-darter with a kill of 120.

Phillips made no mistake and ensured England were the first team into the semi-finals when he won 2-0, taking the match winning leg in 14, with a top throw of 180.

England’s opponents in the semi-finals were unfortunately The Netherlands, who have been their nemesis so often in the past, and this time around was no different.

Owen Roelof won the opening point for the Dutchmen when he defeated Keelan Kay in straight legs and they doubled their account in the next singles when Tavis Dudeney was edged out 2-1 by Daan Bastiaansen.

The turning point came when the current European champions made it 3-0 with Jurjen van der Velde defeating Kyle Manton 2-0 in 13 and 18, boasting a single dart average of 32.32.

Brad Phillips temporarily halted the decline when he emerged a 2-0 winner against Levy Freuenfelder but in the next doubles, van der Velde and Freuenfelder took their 601 double in 17 darts for a 35.35 average, after van der Velde had scored 451 points with just three visits to the oche.

The Netherlands went on to take the title when beating Ireland 4-2 in the final with a team average of 26.63, inspired once again by van der Velde (35.78) who won his singles in 17 and 11.

Competitors will line-up for the Scott Farms International European Open today before the WDS Legal Associates Junior World Championship is competed for on Sunday.

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