Canadians upset Northern Ireland at BetVictor World Cup of Darts in Austria

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SALZBURG, Austria — Unseeded Canadians Jeff (The Silencer) Smith and Matt (Ginga Ninja) Campbell upset fourth-seeded Northern Ireland 5-2 Friday in first-round action at the BetVictor World Cup of Darts 

Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan won the opening set but Canada rallied to go ahead 2-1 with Smith hitting a terrific 154 checkout on his 45th birthday.

The Canadians increased their lead to 3-1 and then hung on for the victory.

Smith, from Hampton, N.B., is the lone Canadian currently competing on the PDC Tour. He works for a friend's auto body shop in nearby Saint John when he is not on the pro darts circuit. He used to have his own body shop — a three-minute walk from home — but it was destroyed in a fire in August 2019.

Campbell is a 31-year-old Hamilton welder who qualified for the William Hill World Darts Championship in London last December.

The 32-country tournament at the Salzburgarena runs through Sunday.

Scotland is reigning champion after claiming the 2019 title in Hamburg. But England is the top seed this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2020

The Canadian Press