Cross celebrates his third PDC nine-dart finish

Rob Cross has achieved a coveted nine-darter.

Wednesday, 15th July 2020, 10:00 am
Rob Cross / Picture: Lawrence Lustig

The world number four from St Leonards produced the perfect leg on Day Four of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) Summer Series.

Cross followed up back-to-back 180s by finishing 141 via the unusual route of treble 19, treble 16 and double 18 during the sixth leg of his semi-final against Mensur Suljovic.

It put Cross 4-2 up and he went on to complete a 7-2 victory over the Austrian world number 12, finishing the match with a superb 110 average.

Cross, however, lost 8-2 to ninth-ranked James Wade in the final despite checkouts of 101 and 108 helping him share the first four legs.

The 2018 world champion was in splendid form throughout Saturday's event, also recording ton-plus averages in his earlier wins over Jitse van der Wal (6-0) and Jamie Hughes (6-5).

Cross also edged past Danny Noppert and Callan Rydz after a deciding leg, having come from 5-2 down against the latter, and overcame four-time Lakeside women's champion Lisa Ashton (6-2).

The nine-darter was Cross' third in PDC competition, having also achieved the feat in Players Championship 26 in Barnsley last September and at a Challenge Tour event in Wigan four years ago.

The Summer Series gave all 128 PDC Tour Card holders the chance to compete in five one-day Players Championship events from last Wednesday until Sunday. All were held behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

Cross' best result in the others was reaching the last 16 on Day One, losing out to world champion Peter Wright. Fellow local player Adrian Gray also took part.

Cross will now turn his attention to his defence of the Betfred World Matchplay title.

The 29-year-old was handed a first round tie against German debutant Gabriel Clemens in Sunday evening's draw.

Cross is the fourth seed as he bids to retain the Phil Taylor Trophy in a tournament which will be played behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena from tomorrow (Saturday) until July 26.

The World Matchplay will be the first fully televised PDC competition to be held following the suspension of events due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.

It's the first time since being introduced in 1994 that the tournament - generally considered the second-biggest on the PDC calendar - will not be played at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

Cross clinched the title last year following an 18-13 victory over Michael Smith in the final, having staged an amazing comeback to defeat Daryl Gurney in the semi-finals.