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The call of one hundred and eighty rang out a number times in the mixed zone of the Millerntor Stadium on Saturday afternoon when Rob "Voltage" Cross, current Professional Darts Cooperation (PDC) world champion, and Stephen "The Bullet" Bunting, former BDO world champion, took part in a tournament against club technical director, Ewald Lienen, and members of the FC St. Pauli darts section, the Dartpiraten. The event was all about having fun for a worthy cause.

The opening discipline took the protagonists straight to the dart board for a game of best of three 501. Rob Cross and Ewald Lienen were each supported by a member of the Dartpiraten. The reigning PDC world champion formed a team with the up-and-coming talent John Kullmann, who is just 12 years of age, while our technical director played alongside current Hamburg champion Mark Molitor.

Despite various attempts to put him off, Cross hit the odd 180 or two to give team Cross/Kullmann a comfortable 2-0 victory. The highlight of the match was provided by young John, however, who checked out the first leg like a champion by hitting double 16.

Next up was a visit to the goal wall. This time Cross teamed up with Stephen Bunting against Lienen and Kullmann. And although the two darts professionals jokingly talked up their ability on the ball in the build-up, the outcome of the second discipline was never in doubt. The St. Pauli pairing ran out 3-1 winners to ensure the tournament ended all square, to the great satisfaction of all taking part.

With the competition part over, the players returned to the board, where Lienen, Cross, Bunting, Kullmann and Molitor took turns to throw at the bullseye according to the motto, "100 euros for every dart on target", raising 1,000 euros for a worthy cause in the process. The sum will be shared equally between the club's social responsibility arm, KIEZHELDEN, and the Sophie Scholl Primary School in Wetterau, Hesse, which follows an inclusive policy and is supported by PDC Europe.

"The tournament was a marvellous affair and it was all for a good cause," a delighted Lienen said. "It gave us an opportunity to have some fun and promote the game of darts and our darts section in a relaxed atmosphere at the same time. Stephen Bunting could only agree: "The young players from the Dartpiraten were brilliant. They're already at a consistent level. It's great to see what's being done for young players in our sport," said the 33-year-old, full of praise for the FC St. Pauli darts section.

Before the two darts professionals returned to the second day of the European Darts Matchplay in the Hamburg suburb of Wilhelmsburg, the last word was reserved for world champion Rob Cross: "I've enjoyed being here at the Millerntor and getting to know St. Pauli. They're a club who are different from most other football clubs in so many ways."

And who would want to contradict a world champion?


Photos: FC St. Pauli

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