St Leonards star reaches European Open final

European Open runner-up Rob Cross (right) alongside winner Michael van Gerwen (centre) after the final in Leverkusen. Picture courtesy Sven Neusch�fer/PDC Europe
European Open runner-up Rob Cross (right) alongside winner Michael van Gerwen (centre) after the final in Leverkusen. Picture courtesy Sven Neusch�fer/PDC Europe

Rob Cross was again in superb form as he reached the final of the European Darts Open in Germany at the weekend.

The world number two from St Leonards averaged more than 100 in every game of the tournament, which took place at the Ostermann Arena in Leverkusen.

“I feel brilliant at the moment, and I only feel that I’m going to get stronger,” said Cross, who was beaten 8-6 by world number one Michael van Gerwen in a high quality final last night (Sunday).

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“I really enjoyed that final too and it’s nice to be playing well again in front of a great crowd.

“I’m going to push Michael every week. He’s the best in the world for a reason, but I’m not going to stop until I get a piece of him.”

A sensational start to the final saw Van Gerwen land a maximum 170 finish in the opening leg before breaking throw in the next. Cross came roaring back with a 95 checkout followed by a 12-darter to level at 2-2.

Cross found double 16 to break throw again and hit the front for the first time at 4-3, with both players averaging over 110, only for the Dutchman to break back immediately.

Four consecutive holds of throw followed and at 6-6, the tie seemed to be heading for a decisive 15th leg. Van Gerwen hit a 13-darter to go within a leg of victory, however, before taking out 78 to scoop the £25,000 top prize.

Cross previously saw off world number three Peter Wright 7-5 in the semi-finals with a 104.24 average and Justin Pipe 6-2 in the quarter-finals.

Yesterday afternoon, the former world champion recovered from 4-1 down to beat 14th-ranked Jonny Clayton 6-4 in the last 16 with a 105.74 average.

Cross, who sits top of the Unibet Premier League, began the tournament with a 6-3 triumph over 22nd-ranked Steve Beaton in round two on Saturday night.