Premier League Darts: Rob Cross beats Michael Smith

Darts star Rob Cross produced another excellent performance in the Unibet Premier League tonight (Thursday).

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 9:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 9:45 pm
Rob Cross (left) shakes hands with Michael Smith at the end of their match in Aberdeen tonight. Picture courtesy Steve Welsh/PDC

The former world champion from St Leonards was a 7-3 winner over World Championship runner-up Michael Smith on night five at the BHGE Arena in Aberdeen.

Cross averaged 103.96 - his fourth ton-plus average in five Premier League matches - hit two 180s, landed a superb 164 outshot and was successful with seven out of 13 darts at a double.

Cross then produced a devastating five-leg burst in which he didn’t afford Smith a single shot at a double. A 14-darter featuring his first 180 levelled the score at 2-2 before Cross produced that 164 finish for a 12-dart break of throw.

The world number two finished 68 in two darts to lead 4-2 before pinning 81 for a second 12-dart break of throw. He then checked out 87 for another 12-darter and a 6-2 lead.

Cross missed a dart at double top for a 117 outshot - and the match - in leg nine, allowing Smith to finish 90 on the bullseye to stay alive. Cross clinched victory with a 15-dart hold in the next leg, hitting double three with his fourth match dart.

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.

Rob Cross celebrates during his 7-3 victory over Michael Smith. Picture courtesy Steve Welsh/PDC

The top four players at the end of 16 nights will face off in the Play-Offs at The O2 on May 23, while the ninth-placed player following Judgement Night in Rotterdam will face an early elimination.

Cross has won three, drawn one and lost one of his five matches so far, leaving him nicely placed in the league table.