St Leonards star nets another Premier League win

Rob Cross celebrates during his victory over Jeffrey De Zwaan in Rotterdam. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Rob Cross celebrates during his victory over Jeffrey De Zwaan in Rotterdam. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Darts superstar Rob Cross made an instant return to winning ways in the Unibet Premier League tonight (Thursday).

The world number two from St Leonards bounced straight back after losing 7-5 to Mensur Suljovic yesterday with a 7-4 victory over Jeffrey De Zwaan at Rotterdam Ahoy.

Cross landed eight 180s in another impressive display, winning six of the last seven legs to consolidate second place in the table.

See also: * St Leonards star reaches European Open final
* St Leonards star goes top of Premier League
* Cross sinks Taylor to win world title

Cheered on by a very loud and partisan Dutch crowd, De Zwaan produced a 12-dart break of throw in the opening leg, followed by a 151 checkout in the next to lead 2-0.

Cross opened his account with a 14-dart hold in leg three only for De Zwaan - the last of the ‘Contenders’ playing in the Premier League this year - to hold in 12 and go 3-1 up.

Cross, however, defied the frequent boos of the 11,000 crowd to reel off the next five legs.

The former world champion hit two 180s in the fifth leg and two more in the sixth to level at 3-3 before finishing 89 in the seventh to lead for the first time.

Cross started leg eight with his sixth 180 and finished it with a brilliant 124 outshot on the bullseye for a 12-dart break. Another 180 helped him hold throw in the next leg for a 6-3 advantage.

De Zwaan held throw in leg 10, despite Cross landing his seventh maximum in six legs, but Cross - more animated on stage than usual - held in leg 11 to seal victory.

In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Cross said: “Jeffrey came out the gates very strong and these fans deserve to get behind him. He’s an incredible talent and he will go far.

“I think they (the crowd) made me a little bit more aggressive. Tonight was a graft and fair play to the Dutch crowd - they did everything for him (De Zwaan) and he was a credit to himself as well.

“I felt like my eardrums were going to burst, I really did. I thought I handled it well.”

Darts’ widest-reaching tournament, the Unibet Premier League sees nine of the world’s top players compete across 17 nights of action from February-May.

The top four players at the end of 16 nights will face off in the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on May 23.

Cross, runner-up in the European Open last weekend, has won six, drawn one and lost two of his first nine Premier League matches.

Next Thursday he will face Northern Irish thrower Daryl Gurney at The SSE Arena in Belfast.