St Leonards ace wins Brisbane title

Rob Cross clutches the Brisbane Darts Masters trophy. Picture courtesy PDC/Richard Walker
Rob Cross clutches the Brisbane Darts Masters trophy. Picture courtesy PDC/Richard Walker

Rob Cross claimed his maiden World Series of Darts title in Australia this weekend.

The St Leonards-based superstar won the Brisbane Darts Masters - his first televised tournament victory since being crowned Professional Darts Corporation world champion on New Year’s Day.

And he did it in style too, winning seven consecutive legs to defeat world number one Michael van Gerwen 11-6 in a high quality final yesterday (Sunday).

Cross said: “It’s been fantastic this week. I started a bit slow, but I knew what I had to do and that was take my chances.

See also: * St Leonards star back in the winner’s circle
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“Everything will fall in place and I am a big believer in that, but I am still learning, I am still progressing and to get another win tonight is massive. To win anything these days is special because the field’s so strong.

“This is a kickstart for the rest of the year and we will look to September and promising things there.”

Cross landed nine 180s to van Gerwen’s two, averaged 103.81 to his opponent’s 98.41 and was successful with 38% of his attempts at a double compared to van Gerwen’s 40%.

Cross lost the opening two legs, with van Gerwen hitting a 114 outshot to go 2-0 up, but surged back to clinch the next four, aided by a brilliant 130 outshot for a 12-darter in leg five and an 11-darter in leg six.

Two-time world champion van Gerwen reeled off four straight legs of his own to lead 6-4, hitting a 170 checkout for a 12-darter in leg seven and a 130 for another 12-darter two legs later.

Cross didn’t look back from the 11th leg onwards, though. The world number three hit 180s in four consecutive legs, three of which he won in 14, 11 and 13 darts, and two maximums in an 11-dart 16th leg moved him within one of victory. He finished things off on double two in leg 17.

Earlier the same evening, Cross earned a battling 11-8 triumph against world number two Peter Wright in the semi-finals.

Cross averaged 95.79 to Wright’s 101.04 and they hit five 180s apiece, but Cross was successful with a superb 73% of his shots at a double to Wright’s 30%.

The opening four legs were shared before Cross strung together the next three in 15, 14 and 13 darts to lead 5-2. Wright fought back to level at 6-6 aided by two 14-darters and two 13-darters.

Cross then produced a decisive four-leg burst featuring a brilliant 11-darter, a 14-darter and a 15-darter. Wright won the next two, helped by a 13-darter, and missed two darts at a double to make it 10-9, allowing Cross to seal victory with a 14-darter.

Cross achieved a classy 10-4 win over Australian hot prospect Corey Cadby in the quarter-finals on Saturday, averaging 101 and landing six 180s.

The match got off to a quiet start as the pair traded holds of throw until the first television break, at which point Cross led 4-3 aided by a 12-darter in leg three.

Cross upped his game on the resumption and it was all one-way traffic thereafter with the number four seed winning six of the subsequent seven legs with some high quality darts.

He landed two 180s in an 11-darter to secure the first break of the match in leg eight and repeated the trick three legs later to lead 7-4. Cross clinched the final three legs in 13, 15 and 14 darts.

Cross began the tournament with a 6-2 first round victory over Tim Pusey, a 25-year-old from Perth, last Friday. The 27-year-old hit two 180s and averaged just under 100, and won all four legs on the Pusey throw.

Cross made a flying start with an 11-dart break in which he followed a 180 by finishing 88 in two darts. Although Pusey broke straight back, Cross produced a 15-darter to break again and then an 11-darter on his own throw, this time finishing 82 in two darts, to lead 3-1.

Cross began leg five with a 180 and a 174 en route to another break. Pusey landed a 104 outshot for a 15-dart break in leg six and missed a dart at a double to finish 103 in leg seven, allowing Cross to finish 76 to lead 5-2. Cross pinned double 10 in the next leg to wrap things up.

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