ROB CROSS became the sixth winner in as many World Series events in 2018 as he defeated Michael van Gerwen 11-6 in the final of the Brisbane Darts Masters.
The World Champion faced the world number one in a repeat of their epic World Championship semi-final and once again the pair didn’t disappoint in the final event of the PDC’s tour Down Under.
It was Cross’ first televised title since his victory at Alexandra Palace in January and his first ever World Series Crown.
The decider began with Cross missing two darts to hold throw in the opening leg allowing Van Gerwen to step in and break.
A 114 finish from the Dutchman in the next leg extended the world number one’s lead to two.
Cross then put together a run of four consecutive legs including a superb 130 finish to gain the initiative.
Van Gerwen then stopped the rot in style taking out 170 for a 12 dart break before going on to lead 6-4 with a 130 finish of his own.
This string of poor legs seemed to spark the Englishman who hit six maximums after that point to regain control.
Seven legs on the spin highlighted an impressive performance from the World Champion who dominated Van Gerwen from the mid-point of the match to win the title at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Cross finished with an average of 106, one of his highest ever televised scores and rounded off the three week trip with his first World Series victory.
“It’s been fantastic this week, I started a bit slow but I knew what I had to do and that was take my chances,” said Cross.
“Everything will fall in place and I am a big believer in that but I am still learning I am still progressing and to get another win tonight is massive.
“To win anything these days is special because the field’s so strong,” added the world number three.
“This is a kickstart for the rest of the year and we will look to September and promising things there.”
Cross also spoke of his respect for his opponent after their clash.“He’s the best player in the world, we all chase him. I still believe I’m a beginner, so he will be the one I am chasing anyway.”
Michael van Gerwen who is the most successful player in the history of the World Series was aiming to win his second crown on the world tour this year after his success in Auckland but came unstuck in the decider and spoke of his disappointment after the match.
“I can only blame myself tonight, I had chances to get further in front and didn’t take them.
“You can’t do that against players like Rob and I’m disappointed tonight but it’s been another amazing trip and I thank everyone who supported me.”
Earlier in the night Van Gerwen had defeated fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld 11-9 to reach the final.
The world number one looked in control through the initial phases of the match, taking a 6-4 lead before a stunning 170 finish brought Van Barneveld back in to the contest.
Despite that moment of magic from the Dutchman it was Van Gerwen who went on to seal the victory and move in to the final.
Cross secured his spot in the final with a 11-8 win over Peter Wright.
The pair of aces were facing off 12th time with Cross leading the head-to-head stats, and continued his success against the Scot hitting 73% of his attempts at doubles including seven out of eight at double 16 to secure the win.
The final was another classic battle between Cross and Van Gerwen with both averaging over 100 but this time it was 27-year-old Englishman’s night in Brisbane.
The World Series will conclude in Vienna in November with the Finals taking place over three days where Michael van Gerwen will be hoping to claim his fourth consecutive victory.
Sunday August 19 Semi-Finals
Peter Wright 8-11 Rob Cross
Michael van Gerwen 11-9 Raymond van Barneveld
Best of 21 legs
Rob Cross 11-6 Michael van Gerwen
Best of 21 legs
ARTICLE BY DAVE ALLEN