World champion out of World Matchplay

Rob Cross was beaten in the last 16 of one of the Professional Darts Corporation's top tournaments.

Thursday, 26th July 2018, 9:31 am
Updated Thursday, 26th July 2018, 9:39 am
Rob Cross at the oche during his 11-8 defeat to Darren Webster in Blackpool last night. Picture courtesy Chris Dean/PDC

The world champion from St Leonards lost 11-8 to Darren Webster in round two of the BetVictor World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, last night (Wednesday).

Cross averaged 98.81 to Webster’s 93.39 and hit five 180s to Webster’s two, but was successful with just 28% of his attempts at a double compared to Webster’s 44%.

World number three Cross was never ahead and although he twice came from two legs behind to level at 3-3 and 5-5, 14th-ranked Webster reeled off three in a row to lead 8-5 and sealed victory as the players traded holds of throw thereafter.

Cross, who missed a dart at the bull to make it 10-9, had three 13-dart legs and a 12-darter, but it was Norwich-based Webster who advanced to a quarter-final against Austrian thrower Mensur Suljovic.

Cross, nicknamed Voltage, previously defeated Mervyn King 10-5 in round one on Sunday night.

The 27-year-old recorded a 98.58 average - the highest of anyone in the first round - hit four 180s, was successful with 45% of his attempts at a double and landed two ton-plus checkouts.

World number 21 King won three of the first four legs, but Cross produced a brilliant 153 checkout to begin a run of four straight legs as he opened up a 5-3 lead.

From 6-4, Cross won four of the subsequent five legs to ultimately triumph fairly comfortably.

That sequence included 13-dart hold in leg 11, a 121 outshot for a 12-dart hold two legs later and a 14-dart closing leg.

See more: * St Leonards star confident ahead of World Matchplay opener* Cross sinks Taylor to win world titleBenefit from an ongoing discount on your Observer by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed, we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer, simply click here (