Judgement Night ends in Premier League exit for Cross

Rob Cross has been eliminated from darts' Unibet Premier League, despite performing far from badly.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 8:56 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 8:58 am
Rob Cross is out of the Premier League / Picture: Lawrence Lustig - PDC

The world number five from St Leonards has exited the prestigious televised competition after 'Judgement Night' for the second successive year.

The bottom two players in the 10-man league table after they've all played each other once were eliminated. And even before his final match against Glen Durrant tonight, Cross was certain to finish second from bottom.

The 2018 world champion was on five points after his first eight matches - three adrift of the two players immediately above him with only two on offer for a win.

After two wins, a draw and two defeats in his first five games two weeks ago, Cross' fate was sealed by defeats in his first three contests of this week.

The 30-year-old lost 7-5 to Gary Anderson on Monday, 7-4 to Dimitri Van den Bergh on Tuesday and 7-5 to Nathan Aspinall on Wednesday at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

Cross averaged 100.5 against two-time world champion Anderson and missed two darts in the final leg for a 6-6 draw.

A 12-dart leg gave Cross a 2-1 advantage, but Anderson reeled off four straight legs, including a 12-dart break in leg five, to lead 5-2.

Cross produced two 13-darters and a 14-darter to cut his deficit to 6-5, yet missed one dart at double 18 and another at double nine in the final leg.

The 2019 World Matchplay and European Championship winner averaged 99.9 and hit five 180s against 2020 World Matchplay champion Van den Bergh, but again it wasn't enough.

A 13-darter gave Cross a 2-1 lead before Van den Bergh produced a superb five-leg burst which included legs of 11 and 12 darts and checkouts of 96 and 124 to lead 6-2.

Cross replied with a 97 double-double finish and an 11-darter to make it 6-4 before his in-form Belgian opponent wrapped up victory.

Voltage, as Cross is nicknamed, was also 2-1 up against Aspinall, aided by a 13-dart opening leg, only for Aspinall to respond with five straight legs, including a 13-darter and 11-darter.

Although Cross fought back valiantly with three straight legs to force a decider, Aspinall held throw to seal his win and cement his place in the top four.

Cross reached the Premier League final in 2019 having been a semi-finalist the previous year.