Rob Cross beaten by Mensur Suljovic in Grand Slam last 16

Rob Cross on stage during his defeat to Mensur Suljovic at the bwin Grand Slam of Darts last night. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Rob Cross on stage during his defeat to Mensur Suljovic at the bwin Grand Slam of Darts last night. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Rob Cross exited the bwin Grand Slam of Darts in the last 16 last night (Wednesday).

The world champion from St Leonards was beaten 10-7 by world number seven Mensur Suljovic in Wolverhampton.

Despite hitting six 180s to Suljovic’s none, Cross trailed throughout the match and although he closed to within a leg on three occasions, he then lost his throw on each occasion.

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Austrian ace Suljovic opened up a 5-1 lead before Cross found his range to reel off three straight legs, in 12, 14 and 14 darts. Suljovic broke throw in leg 10 to lead 6-4 at the second break and held throw in the next to go three legs clear.

Cross won the next two to make it 7-6 only for Suljovic to finish 92 for another break. Cross broke back to trail 8-7, but then missed three darts at a double to level the match and Suljovic claimed a crucial break. He duly finished 96 in the next leg to complete his victory.

The Sky Sports-televised event began with a group format last weekend and Cross topped group H with three wins out of three.

His first group match ended in a 5-2 win over Mark McGeeney in a clash between the PDC world champion and BDO World Championship runner-up.

Cross took his chances to punish McGeeney for missing 20 darts at a double on Saturday afternoon.

The following afternoon he became the first player to book his place in knockout phase after surviving a match dart to edge past Dimitri Van den Bergh 5-4.

Cross, who missed just two darts at a double, trailed 3-2 to the young Belgian in a repeat of their World Championship quarter-final before battling back to force a last leg decider.

After reigning world youth champion Van den Bergh missed a dart at the bullseye for the match, the world number three found double eight with his last dart in hand to secure the win.

Cross completed the group stage with a 5-2 victory over Ryan Searle on Monday night, averaging 98 in the process.