Sussex ace Cross back in world top 10 despite Ally Pally exit
Rob Cross' bid for glory at the William Hill World Darts Championship ended with a narrow defeat in the last 16.
The number 11 seed from St Leonards was edged out by four sets to three by world number six Gary Anderson, despite valiantly coming back from 3-1 down to force a decider.
In a clash of former champions, 2018 winner Cross clinched the opening set 3-2 even though 2015 and 2016 champion Anderson averaged more than 10 points higher.
Last year's runner-up Anderson reeled off nine of the next 11 legs, aided by a 170 checkout, to lead by three sets to one at Alexandra Palace in London. But Cross found some form to take the fifth set 3-1, sealing it with a brilliant 144 outshot, and then recovered from 2-0 down to win the sixth set 3-2.
The 31-year-old held throw in the opening leg of the decider only for Anderson to claim the next three legs, wrapping up the win with his fourth match dart. Anderson went on to reach the semi-finals before losing a match of the highest quality against eventual champion Peter Wright.
As previously reported, Cross reached the fourth round courtesy of a thrilling 4-3 victory in a high-class contest against world number 22 Daryl Gurney. And he came from behind to see off five-time champion Raymond van Barneveld 3-1 in round two.
Voltage, as Cross is nicknamed, has moved back into the top 10 of the world rankings as a result. And he can reflect on an encouraging second half of 2021, highlighted by winning the European Championship for the second time and a Players Championship event.
Cross' next Professional Darts Corporation action will come at the Ladbrokes Masters in Milton Keynes from January 28-30.