World darts champion Rob Cross reached his seventh successive televised quarter-final this weekend.
The St Leonards-based thrower won three matches to reach the last eight of the Coral UK Open in Minehead before bowing out against two-time world champion Gary Anderson.
Cross came into the competition at the third round stage by virtue of finishing fifth on the UK Open order of merit after the six qualifying competitions last month.
And he survived a bit of a scare in his opening match on Friday night, coming from 2-0, 5-3, 6-4 and 7-5 down to win 10-8 against the impressive Nathan Aspinall.
Cross finished the match with a 99.32 average and seven 180s having raised his game to a very high level in winning six of the last eight legs against a former World Youth Championship finalist.
World number three Cross went from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 with the help of a superb 134 checkout for a 12-darter in leg four, but Aspinall clinched four legs out of five to go 6-4 up.
Cross was hugely impressive thereafter, producing an 11-darter in the 11th leg before back-to-back 14-darters brought him level at 7-7. Cross delivered another 11-darter to go 9-8 up and landed his first match dart in the next leg to seal a hard-fought victory.
He then overcame world number 22 Kyle Anderson, from Australia, 10-7 in round four yesterday (Saturday) afternoon with a 98.29 average, six 180s and 33 percent success rate on the doubles.
Cross cruised into a 7-2 lead with the help of two 13-darters, but Anderson, who hit eight 180s, won the next four legs to trail 7-6. Cross produced a brilliant 121 outshot for a 12-darter to stop the rot in leg 14 and also took the next to lead 9-6.
Anderson checked out 109 to pull one back and then had two darts at a double to make it 9-8 before Cross sealed victory with his third match dart.
Cross produced his most impressive display of the tournament in round five last night, averaging 103.88, hitting four 180s and 63 percent of his shots at a double during a 10-3 success against Polish talent Krzysztof Ratajski.
Two 14-darters and a 13-darter helped Cross into a 3-1 lead before Ratajski checked out 110 in leg five. Cross took the next three legs, culminating with a superb 143 checkout for a 12-darter in leg eight, to lead 6-2.
After Ratajski pulled one back, Cross clinched the win with four consecutive legs, following successive 13-darters with two 14-darters.
His progress was halted, however, by a 10-5 defeat to world number four Anderson in the quarter-finals this afternoon.
A match which had the makings of a thriller on paper never really lived up to its billing, but Anderson, who landed three 100-plus checkouts and 59 percent of his shots at a double, won six straight legs from 5-4 down.
Cross started very well, hitting all five of his 180s and an 11-darter in the first eight legs. At one stage early on his average was over 110, but his level dropped after the second break and he ended the game averaging 95.53.
The £350,000 tournament had to be held behind closed doors with the effects of Storm Emma preventing Butlin’s from opening the complex to the general public.
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