Brilliant Cross reaches another final

Rob Cross reached the final of the HappyBet European Darts Trophy yesterday. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Rob Cross produced another superb performance on the Professional Darts Corporation ProTour in Germany at the weekend.

The St Leonards-based thrower reached the final of the HappyBet European Darts Trophy in Gottingen before being edged out 6-4 by world number one Michael van Gerwen.

Cross took the opening leg only for van Gerwen to fire in a sublime 160 checkout in leg two. Cross edged back ahead, but consecutive finishes of 68 and 100 saw the Dutch world champion take the lead for the first time at 3-2.

Players Championship Order of Merit winner Cross landed double nine to cancel out van Gerwen’s break, but the Dutchman responded with his only maximum of the final before landing tops to move 4-3 in front.

Van Gerwen added a third hundred-plus checkout, this time finishing 150, to move to the brink of victory, yet Cross produced a 180 and pinned double 16 to keep his hopes alive.

Reigning European champion Van Gerwen would not be denied the £25,000 winner’s cheque, however, and he finished the job on double five.

Despite missing out on the title, Cross, who has won four Players Championship titles during an excellent debut season, had the consolation of reaching his second European Tour final.

He was taken all the way to an 11th leg in his second round win against Jamie Caven on Saturday before winning the decider in 12 darts with a 116 checkout.

Cross then won three matches on Sunday. After averaging over 105 in a 6-2 victory over former world youth champion Keegan Brown, he defeated 2017 Gibraltar Darts Trophy winner Michael Smith, ranked 12th, 6-3 in the quarter-finals.

Cross, who began the tournament 32nd on the PDC order of merit, completed his 6-1 semi-final triumph against 15th-ranked Kim Huybrechts with a 115 finish.

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