St Leonards star misses out on topping Premier League

Rob Cross (right) shakes hands with James Wade at the end of their match. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Rob Cross (right) shakes hands with James Wade at the end of their match. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Darts superstar Rob Cross missed the chance to finish top of the 2019 Unibet Premier League.

The world number two from St Leonards lost 8-6 to James Wade on the last night of the regular season at the First Direct Arena in Leeds tonight (Thursday).

That meant he finished second - one point behind Michael van Gerwen, who won his final match against Mensur Suljovic.

See also: * St Leonards star stays top of Premier League and books Play-Offs spot
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The top four players (from the nine who started the 17-week roadshow competition) will face off in the Play-Offs at The O2 in London next Thursday (May 23).

Cross will again play Wade and Van Gerwen will take on Daryl Gurney. The two winners will meet in the final at the end of the evening.

Former world champion Cross has been consistently impressive throughout the Premier League campaign, but fell short of his usual high standards against Wade in Leeds.

The first nine legs all went with throw. Cross produced a superb 126 checkout in leg two and later had two darts at double eight to break in leg nine only to fall behind for a fifth time.

Wade then hit double 10 to secure the first break of the match in leg 10, but Cross finished 70 in the next leg to break straight back at 6-5.

Wade checked out 120 with Cross waiting on a double in leg 12, ending Cross’s hopes of becoming only the third man ever to finish top of the league phase.

Cross eventually hit double one to make it 7-6 after Wade missed five darts at double 10 for the match, but Wade did pin double 10 in the next leg to seal his win.

Final standings (all played 16 matches): 1st Michael van Gerwen 23pts, 2nd Rob Cross 22, 3rd James Wade 20, 4th Daryl Gurney 19, 5th Gerwyn Price 18, 6th Mensur Suljovic 17, 7th Michael Smith 10, 8th Peter Wright 9.