Cross reaches second TV semi-final

Rob Cross in celebratory mood at the Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Rob Cross in celebratory mood at the Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Darts star Rob Cross reached his second televised semi-final at the weekend.

The St Leonards-based thrower won four matches at the Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals before going out in the last four.

Cross went into the 64-man event in Minehead as the number one seed having topped the Players Championship order of merit after winning four titles during a remarkable debut season on the professional circuit.

He began his campaign at the finals with a 6-2 first round win against Welsh thrower Robert Owen on Friday night. Cross sealed victory with an impressive 129 finish featuring two double 18s.

Cross then produced probably the most impressive performance of anyone in the first two rounds to defeat Steve Lennon 6-2 in the last 32 on Saturday afternoon. He averaged 104 and took out four ton-plus finishes as he sealed victory with five consecutive legs.

The 27-year-old reached his fourth successive TV quarter-final with a fine 10-6 defeat of two-time world champion Adrian Lewis on Saturday night.

Cross, nicknamed Voltage, took out 156 and 104 as he moved into a 6-1 lead against world number seven Lewis.

The Stoke ace - twice a Players Championship Finals runner-up - produced a superb 170 finish and also checked out 113 as he hit back to trail 8-6, but missed doubles in the next two legs allowed Cross to close out the win.

Cross, ranked 21, continued his progress with a 10-6 defeat of 11th-ranked James Wade in yesterday (Sunday) afternoon’s opening quarter-final. He hit four 180s, had a 40% checkout success and averaged 96.32.

Cross raced into an early 3-0 lead, taking out 85 on the bull for a 12-darter in leg two, before Wade took out 121 to get off the mark.

Wade pulled back to 5-3 before a superb 148 finish from Cross moved him 7-3 up. He then moved to the brink of victory at 9-4.

Five missed match darts allowed the left-handed Wade to hit back with checkouts of 64 and 76 to keep his hopes alive, but a third 74 checkout of the game from Cross secured his spot in the last four.

Cross would have been widely expected to make it to the final, but produced an uncharacteristic below par display to lose 11-8 against 40th-ranked Jonny Clayton yesterday evening. He averaged 93.94 and hit only 26% of his darts at a double.

Things began well enough as Cross won the first three legs en route to a 4-1 lead at the first break. A 12-darter gave Clayton the sixth leg and the next four went with throw as Cross led 6-4 at the second break.

Clayton levelled for the first time at 7-7 before an 88 finish gave Cross an 8-7 lead at the third break. Clayton won all four legs after the resumption, though, aided by a 120 finish in the 16th to set up a final showdown against world number one Michael van Gerwen.