Brilliant Cross sinks Suljovic

Rob Cross is congratulated by opponent Mensur Suljovic after his 7-2 victory. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Rob Cross is congratulated by opponent Mensur Suljovic after his 7-2 victory. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Darts star Rob Cross produced a superb performance as he powered to fourth successive Unibet Premier League victory tonight (Thursday).

The St Leonards-based world champion saw off Mensur Suljovic 7-2 at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena with a 106.49 average and 78% success rate on the doubles.

Cross’s average was his second highest on television, behind only the 107.67 he recorded against Phil Taylor in the World Championship final on New Year’s Day.

In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Cross said: “I felt great up there, nice and relaxed, and composed like normal really. I feel it’s coming now. My practice is changing, the game’s getting stronger, my doubles were good today and I was glad to win.”

Cross produced a 13-darter to break throw in the opening leg despite a Suljovic 180. He then checked out 68 in two darts for 2-0 and although Suljovic won the third leg in 14 darts, Cross landed a 104 outshot for a 15-darter in leg four.

The world number three raised his level still further with a brilliant 11-darter - featuring his first 180 and a bounce-out - against the throw to lead 4-1. After Suljovic missed the bull for a 121, Cross held throw in 14 darts, despite missing a double for the first time, for 5-1.

Rob Cross at the oche against Mensur Suljovic. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Rob Cross at the oche against Mensur Suljovic. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Cross’s second 180 led to a 14-darter in leg seven, putting him on the brink of victory. Suljovic hit a 14-darter to break throw and cut his deficit to 6-2, but Cross sealed victory in the next leg with a 14-darter of his own containing his third 180.

“I slacked off the last two legs,” added Cross, who lost to Suljovic in the Unibet Masters quarter-finals in January. “But I’m really happy with the win and that’s all that matters at the moment.

“I’m enjoying it again now. Tonight I was focused on the job. I didn’t celebrate much; I wanted to win. I feel I’m playing well and I’m going to get better every week. It’s going the right way for me now.”

Despite losing his opening two Premier League matches, Cross is now up to third in the table after night six of the 16-week roadshow event featuring 10 of the world’s top players.

The Premier League will move on to Glasgow next Thursday when Cross will face Welsh thrower Gerwyn Price.

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