Impressive Cross edged out by two-time world champ

Rob Cross at the oche during his high class match against Adrian Lewis. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig, PDC
Rob Cross at the oche during his high class match against Adrian Lewis. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig, PDC

Rising darts star Rob Cross produced another impressive performance at the BetVictor World Matchplay last night (Wednesday).

Cross, who lives in St Leonards, put up an excellent fight in his second round match against two-time world champion and world number four Adrian Lewis.

He recorded a superb average of 104 and hit eight doubles from 14 attempts in losing a tight battle at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool 11-8.

Lewis finished the stronger as he backed up nine 180s by claiming the final three legs without reply to secure his quarter-final spot.

Lewis landed three of those maximums in the opening two legs and also fired in a 177 as he moved 4-2 up before a brilliant 144 checkout retained his two-leg cushion at 5-3.

Cross responded splendidly with a 10-darter in leg nine and levelled with a 14-dart finish, but crucially was unable to break Lewis’ throw to move ahead as the Stoke ace landed a 121 finish at a key moment before pulling clear from 8-8 for the win.

Lewis said of Cross: “He’s an absolutely awesome player and I had to dig in there. I think he’s world class and he can get into the top 16, without a doubt. For me to go up there and come through a game like that is really satisfying.”

World number 49 Cross was a 10-7 winner over 12th-ranked Ian White in round one on Monday night - his first match in front of the live Sky Sports television cameras.

After topping the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour order of merit in 2016, Cross has already enjoyed a superb first year on the Pro Tour in 2017.

He won his first PDC title at the third Players Championship event, beating Mervyn King 6-5 in the final. The former electrician later later won the 12th Players Championship event via a 6-5 victory over White.