Paul Lim stars as Singapore beat Wales and Northern Ireland crash out of the World Cup of Darts
Coverage continues from 6pm on Friday night with new-look England and Netherlands, the only teams to win the event, both in action
By Paul Prenderville at the Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg
Last Updated: 07/06/19 8:11am
The World Cup of Darts continues to go from strength-to-strength and the opening night of this year's event delivered in style as Northern Ireland and Wales were dumped out with 65-year-old Paul Lim stealing the show.
Defeats for Northern Ireland and Wales saw Premier League players Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price fall at the first hurdle as the nature of the doubles format allowed for surprises again.
Singapore accounted for third seeds Wales, Paul Lim leading the way, while South Africa stunned Northern Ireland in a last leg shoot-out and Gary Anderson made his return to the TV stage in Scotland's 5-0 win over Denmark.
In keeping with the event's growing status, a packed Barclaycard Arena provided the tournament's biggest venue yet and the home pairing did not disappoint - Max Hopp and Martin Schindler delighted the crowd to beat Hungary 5-1 and reach the second round where they will face Wales.
World Cup of Darts - Thursday's First Round results
|Northern Ireland (6)||4-5||South Africa|
|Belgium (7)||5-1||Hong Kong|
Lim rolls back the years to stun Wales
The legendary Paul Lim inspired Singapore to a spectacular 5-3 win over third seeds and two-time runners-up Wales.
Having fired the winning double in the opening leg Lim missed a dart for a sensational 160 in the second and Wales made them pay despite a host of missed opportunities of their own.
Clayton punished Singapore to force the first break, but then spurned three chance for a 3-1 lead to allow Harith Lim to break straight back and that proved pivotal.
Erratic darts from Clayton and Price saw them missed a host of darts at double and with Harith Lim beginning to find his range, it was Singapore who powered to an impressive win.
And in a wide-open section of the draw they will face Japan, last year's quarter-finalists, who scrambled over the line with a 5-4 win over Gibraltar in a match that went the distance.
A break in the fifth leg looked to be pivotal for Japan but with Antony Lopez keeping Gibraltar competitive - pinning a fourth double of the contest to break back and force a decider.
But Seigo Asada produced the moment of outstanding quality, taking out 104 to book a date with the Welsh.
Anderson returns to fire Scotland bid for first title
While the big names faltered earlier in the night, that wasn't the case for Scotland, who had Gary Anderson back in action after a back injury had ruled him out of the Premier League.
Having teamed up with Peter Wright for a runners-up finish last year, the pair produced the performance of the night to average 101.6 with the only whitewash of the evening and fittingly on his return it was Anderson that sunk the winning double.
Denmark were never in the contest, having just a single dart at a double while the Scots fired in six 140s, two 180s and hit five of their eights darts at double, including a brilliant 100 finish from Snakebite.
A classy start from Brazil's Diogo Portela was cancelled out by some mean finishing from Sweden's Iron Man Dennis Nilsson who took out combination finishes of 71 and 141 to turn a deficit into an early advantage.
Two more legs followed for Sweden, with Brazil's Artur Valle missing three darts to make it 3-2 before Magnus Caris delayed his retirement by a couple of days at least with a double eight sealing a 5-1 win.
World Cup of Darts - Friday's First Round fixtures
Northern Ireland stunned and Kiwis coast
An inspired Devon Petersen helped South Africa defy 20 missed darts at a double to send Northern Ireland, in the shape of Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan, packing at the first hurdle after a 5-4 victory.
After a blistering start from both teams that saw them share the opening couple of legs with some high-class stuff, doubling and scoring proved sporadic with only Petersen proving consistent.
Trailing 3-2 Petersen levelled the contest at 3-3 only to see Dolan find his form to help Gurney to a 14-dart hold to move within a leg of the match
Gurney missed a dart for a three-figure finish, Petersen was on hand to level and then produced a brilliant leg that included a 140, a 180 and a classy two-dart 74 to seal the win.
New Zealand will face Peterson and Vernon Bouwers after they dispatched Lithuania 5-1 with Cody Harris firing finishes of 124 and 110 on the way to a dominant victory.
Lithuania missed 10 darts at a double, Harris missed nothing and the Kiwis coasted through.
Brilliant Belgium lay down marker and face hosts next
A superb display from Belgium saw them beat Hong Kong 5-1 and underline their status as contenders for the title.
Once again Dimitri Van den Bergh proved inspired by the TV stage, seizing his moment after a classy 141 from Roydon Lam levelled up a high-quality early start.
Four legs on the bounce got the job done for the Belgium pair of Van den Bergh and Kim Huybrechts. Van den Bergh defying a low-key individual start to the season to taking out 71 for the first break and then sealing the winning with a nerveless 136.
Up next for Belgium are the hosts Germany, who were roared on by a raucous crowd to a dominant 5-1 win over Hungary that featured some brilliant finishing from Martin Schindler and big scoring from Max Hopp.
It was the Hungarians who took out the opening leg but having moved in front, Schindler took out an outstanding 137 to assume control at 3-1 and power over the line to keep alive hopes of going further than the quarter-finals of the last two years.
The World Cup of Darts continues on Sky Sports for the next three days with the remaining eight first-round matches underway from 6pm on Sky Sports Action on Friday