Cross surges into World Championship quarter-finals

Rob Cross surged through to the quarter-finals of the William Hill World Darts Championship.

Thursday, 28th December 2017, 10:23 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:18 am
Rob Cross celebrates an important dart against John Henderson. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The St Leonards-based thrower achieved a pretty comfortable four sets to one victory over John Henderson in the last 16 this afternoon (Thursday).

Cross, seeded 20 after an outstanding debut season on the Professional Darts Corporation ProTour, averaged 99.77 and hit seven 180s to see off 29th-ranked Henderson at Alexandra Palace, London.

Cross was quickly out of the blocks, winning the first set 3-1 with a 110.2 average. He took the opening leg in 11 darts aided by a 180 and although Henderson finished 83 on the bull to make it 1-1, Cross then held throw in 14 darts before checking out 56 in two darts to clinch the set.

The 27-year-old Cross began the second set with a 180, but Henderson landed a 109 outshot to hold in the opening leg. Cross took the next two legs, finishing 76 to lead 2-1, before Henderson checked out 101 for 2-2. Cross produced a 14-darter against the throw to claim the set.

Cross, nicknamed Voltage, dropped his level in the third set and Henderson, conqueror of fourth seed Daryl Gurney in the previous round, took it 3-1. The Scot hit his third and fourth ton-plus outshots with a 136 for a 12-darter in the second leg and a 125 in the fourth.

Henderson won his fourth leg out of five to hold throw at the start of the fourth set, but Cross reeled off six in a row thereafter as he regained his form. He checked out 102 to break for a 2-1 lead and held throw in the next (a leg in which both players hit a 180) to seal the set.

Cross completed his victory in style by averaging 118 in the final set. He produced a 13-darter to break throw for a 2-0 lead and finished things off with a superb 10-darter which began with five consecutive treble 20s.

Afterwards he told Sky Sports: “I lost concentration in that game. I felt I was lazy in the middle part and maybe could’ve done more, but I’m happy to get through.

“The last set I was focused and I was better, but I think going forward you need to push every set and I’m not quite doing that yet.

“I’ve never played in front of fantastic people like this and they’re all chanting; it’s massive. It’s a little bit different, but you deal with that and keep moving forward.”

Cross will face world youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh in the last eight tomorrow afternoon. The talented Belgian youngster stunned fifth seed Mensur Suljovic 4-0 in his third round tie this afternoon.

“He’s another fantastic player,” added Cross, who beat Japanese thrower Seigo Asada 3-0 in round one and edged out 13th seed Michael Smith 4-3 in a classic second round tie.

“We won’t be taking anything for granted, but as long as I come out and do my bit, with no switching off, it’s all good.”

Cross, who only last year was working as an electrician, has won four Players Championship titles and was runner-up in the European Championship this year.