Huntly’s John Henderson admitted he was speechless after landing the biggest success of his career by teaming up with Peter Wright to win the World Cup of Darts for Scotland.
The Highlander, a late call-up to represent his country after Gary Anderson opted against travelling to Germany, found the perfect time to hit form as Scotland defeated Austria 3-1 to win the World Cup for the second time in three years.
Henderson hit the winning dart against the Netherlands in the quarter-finals and in their last four showdown with defending champions Wales before Wright claimed the crucial point in the final by beating Mensur Suljovic.
The Austrian pair of Suljovic and Rowby-John Rodriguez defeated top seeds England to earn their place in the final and were bidding to become the first unseeded nation to win the tournament.
Henderson, who earns a place in the Grand Slam of Darts by virtue of reaching the final, was beaten 4-1 by Suljovic in the opening singles match in the final before Wright defeated Rodriguez by the same score to level matters.
Austria missed five darts to win the pairs contest with Henderson eventually pinning double 10 to move Scotland 2-1 up in the best of five decider.
Wright then missed five match darts in his singles contest against Suljovic before eventually getting the job done by sinking double 16 with Henderson in tears in the celebration as he claimed his first PDC title.
Henderson said: “I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how Peter managed to keep his nerve in the last game. I was just there in the background thinking: ‘Please don’t make me have to go up and play against Rowby.’
“It is a team effort. We have won this as a team but he is a legend.
“I’m going to enjoy this. To play with Peter has been an honour.
“To go back home as a World Cup champion makes me speechless.
“I can only thank Peter for everything he has done for me throughout the week and his good advice.
“Hopefully I can use this to kick-start my career.
“I know where I want to be. I’m only 44 in the world rankings so hopefully this is the start of many things to come.”
Peter Wright defeats Mensur Suljovic to guide Scotland to their second World Cup of Darts title 👏👏pic.twitter.com/rVMIXlDrbD
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) September 12, 2021
Wright said: “I was very nervous. He carried me throughout this tournament. It has been a privilege to play with this man, my friend.
“We are only here because of John Henderson. It was an absolute privilege to play with him.
“Scotland has won before with Gary Anderson and unfortunately he couldn’t make it. I had John Henderson in my pocket. Watch out the world, John Henderson is going to take over the world now in the way that Jonny Clayton did (after Wales won the World Cup in 2020).”
Earlier in the day, Henderson produced some stunning darts against Wales to defeat world number one Gerwyn Price 4-2 to tip the last four clash in Scotland’s favour.
But Wales fought back with Jonny Clayton beating Wright by the same score to set up a pairs decider with Austria lying in wait in the final for the victors.
The Welsh pair of Price and Clayton upped the ante in the pairs but Scotland progressed with Henderson hitting double 18 at the first attempt to win.
The Scots had pulled off an upset by defeating third seeds the Netherlands with Henderson landing double tops to knock out the Dutch duo of Michael van Gerwen and Dirk van Duijvenbode.