2018 Coral UK Open - Qualifier 4 

Friday 9th February 2018

Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan

Rob Cross bounced back into form at the Coral UK Open Qualifier 4 at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan reaching the semi-finals. Wins against Christopher Bent, Mike De Decker, Dimitri van den Bergh, Robert Thornton and Krzysztof Ratajski earnt the world champion a place in the last four where he was narrowly beaten by Gary Anderson. The run to the semi-finals also secures Cross' spot in the the finals next month at the Butlin's resort in Minehead.


Last 128 (vs Christopher Bent)

Christopher Bent proved to be a tough enough opponent for Rob Cross in the last 128 having come through a last 256 tie against Karsten Kornath with a 6-1 win, hitting seven perfect darts to start one of the legs. Bent only averaged 81.77 in this match but upped his game when facing Cross.


Bent opened up with a 177, winning the opening leg in 15 darts against throw. Cross then took out 121 (T20, 11, bull) to break back in the same number of darts but was broken again to trail 2-1 after a missed dart at double sixteen resulted in Bent taking out 31 in two darts for a 17 darter. Once again Cross broke throw, this time in 13 darts by hitting double top after starting the leg with back-to-back 140's. Both players traded 180's in the next leg as Cross held throw for the first time in the match with a 15 dart leg finishing on 68 (T20, 4, D2) to lead 3-2. Back came Bent with a 13 dart winning leg finishing on double sixteen. Cross won the next in 20 darts finishing on 25 (9, D8) to lead 4-3 and hit three 140's to take the eighth leg in 13 darts, taking out double twenty. A hold of throw in 14 darts got the win, once again with a double top finish. Cross hit two 180's and averaged 98.38 in the 6-3 result. Bent hit four 180's and averaged 94.48.


Last 64 (vs Mike De Decker)

Mike De Decker was Cross' next opponent having booked his place in the last 64 with wins against Sam Guest 6-3 and Andy Boulton 6-4. De Decker's averages in these wins were 93.17 and 93.85.


The dutchman performed at a similar level against Cross but was no match for the Hastings' man as he turned in his best performance of the year. The opening two legs were shared. Cross taking out the first in 12 darts finishing on 100 (20, T16, D16) and De Decker winning the second in 14 darts finishing on 67 (T17, D8). Cross then took out finishes of 96 (20, T20, D8) and 92 (T20, D16) in legs of 12 and 14 darts to lead 3-1. Legs of 17 and 14 darts with finishes of 32 (16, D8) and 56 (20, D18) made it 5-1 to Cross. Despite the onslaught De Decker hit scores of 100, 140 and 131 in the next leg to leave himself 130 but it wasn't enough as Cross fired in his best leg of the match to seal a 6-1 victory. Scores of 134, 177, 138 and a 52 finish (20, D16) resulting in an 11 dart leg and an average of 113.97. De Decker averaged 94.36. Cross hit three 180's, De Decker hit one 180.


Last 32 (vs Dimitri van den Bergh) 

Next up for Cross it was Dimitri van den Bergh as the two players met for the first time since their epic world championship quarter-final back in December. Van den Bergh came through to the last 32 with wins against Paul Milford 6-3, Mark Walsh 6-4, Joe Murnan 6-1 and Michael Barnard 6-5. Averages in those wins were 88.96, 98.83, 103.46 and 101.79. 


Van den Bergh won the opening leg in 13 darts as he broke the Cross throw by taking out double sixteen. Cross levelled in 17 darts by hitting the same double and then held throw in 15 darts finishing off 25 (9, 8, D4) to lead 2-1. It took the world youth champion 17 darts to win the next, finishing on 16 (8, D4). Cross won the next in 14 darts taking out 36 (x, D18) with Van den Bergh levelling at 3-3 with a 17 darter finishing on 28 (x, D14). A 14 dart leg from Cross and a 17 dart leg from Van Den Bergh, both with 36 finishes made it 4-4. Cross, knowing that he just needed to keep holding his throw to win the match won the next leg in 12 darts with an 88 finish (20, T12, D16). Van den Bergh replied with a 12 darter himself finishing on 56 (20, D18) and with the match level at 5-5 it was into a decider. Cross won it with a 15 dart leg, finishing on 80 (20, 20, D20) with the Belgian left waiting on 59 after 12 darts thrown. Cross hit one 180 and averaged 95.88. Van den Bergh hit four 180's and averaged 97.73.


Last 16 (vs Robert Thornton)   

Robert Thornton made it through to the last 16 to face Cross with wins against Kevin Painter 6-5, Zoran Lerchbacher 6-0 and James Richardson 6-5 with averages of 85.37, 94.93 and 90.27.


It took six throws each at the bull to decide who was to start this one but it was Cross who eventually gained the advantage. An opening leg of 15 darts, checking out on 70 (T18, 8, D4) gave the Sussex man a 1-0 lead. Thornton levelled in 16 darts by taking out double ten then Cross won three legs on the bounce to lead 4-1. Holding throw in 16 and 17 darts, finishing off on double ten and sixteen (8, D4), winning the middle of the three legs in 10 darts with scores of 135, 180, 174 and firing home double six. The remaining four legs all went with throw. The scot won the sixth leg of the match in 19 darts, again hitting double ten. Cross won the next in 21 darts by hitting double eight at the fourth attempt. Thornton won the penultimate leg in 15 darts by taking out 80 (20, 20, D20) and Cross won the last leg in 13 darts by taking out double sixteen. Both players hit two 180's. Cross averaged 89.08. Thornton averaged 92.06. 


Quarter-Finals (vs Krzysztof Ratajski)

The current Winmau World Masters champion Krzysztof Ratajski won six matches to reach the quarter-finals having been drawn to play Mark Wilson in a prelim match. He beat Wilson 6-1 then went on to defeat Jermaine Wattimena 6-3, Trevor Burkhill 6-4, James Wilson 6-4, Benito van de Pas 6-0 and Maik Langendorf 6-3 with averages of 98.24, 97.20, 88.41, 105.48, 98.02 and 91.53.


Cross opened up with a 17 dart hold of throw by hitting double twelve at the second attempt as world champion and world masters champion took each other on for the first time. Cross then doubled his lead with his second 10 dart leg of the day with scores of 140, 180 and 145, finishing on double eighteen. Ratajski then broke throw in 12 darts with an 84 finish (T20, 12, D6). Four missed darts at doubles from Cross allowed the 'Polish Eagle' to level the match at 2-2 as he took out double four for a 20 darter. Cross went back in front with a 13 darter, finishing off 25 with single nine, double eight. Ratajski took the next in 12 darts followed by a 14 darter from Cross after a missed dart at double seven for an 86 finish from the pole left Cross 4-3 in front. Cross started the next leg with three scores of 140 but a missed dart at double thirteen for an 81 finish let Ratajski in as he took out double top for a 13 darter and make it 4-4. Cross won the next in 18 darts with a 52 finish (20, 16, D8) after one missed dart at double top from Ratajski. Cross won the tenth leg against throw, hitting double eighteen for a 16 darter and a 6-4 win. Cross hit three 180's. Ratajski hit one 180. Cross averaged 101.68. Ratajski averaged 98.98.


Semi-Finals (vs Gary Anderson)    

World number four Gary Anderson booked his place in the semi-finals with wins against Tytus Kanik 6-1, Martin Schindler 6-3, Richie Corner 6-3, Steve West 6-3 and James Wade 6-4 with averages of 89.38, 99.65, 96.36, 91.05 and 100.91.


Going into this match, Cross was looking for his first win against the two time world champion after two previous defeats on the PDC Pro Tour. The opening two legs were both 16 darters and both went with throw. Cross took out double sixteen at the second attempt in the first and Anderson hit double twenty in the next. Anderson then started the third leg with back-to-back 180s as he broke throw for a 2-1 lead, checking out on 76 (T20, D8) for an 11 darter. Cross responded brilliantly with an 11 darter himself hitting scores of 180, 140, 134 and checking out on 47 (15, D16) to make it 2-2. Cross then held throw with a 12 darter hitting scores of 47, 137, 180 and checking out on 137 (T19, T16, D16) after his opponent had left 123 after nine darts. Missed darts at double twenty and double ten from Anderson allowed Cross to take a 4-2 lead as he took out double four in a 21 dart leg. Two missed darts from Cross for a 5-2 lead gave Anderson a way back into the match as he cleaned up 60 for a 15 darter. He then made it 4-4 after another two missed darts from Cross. This time a 16 dart winning leg went the way of the scot as he hit double eight. The next two legs were both won in 14 darts. Cross took out 72 (T20, D6) to lead 5-4. Anderson responded by taking out 74 (T14, D16) to take the match into a decider. The opening nine darts from the players saw Cross hit scores of 180, 87 and 180 to leave 54. Anderson hit 123, 180 and 134 to leave 64. Cross hit the single 14 to leave double top but narrowly missed with both remaining darts allowing Anderson to finish off with single eight, single sixteen, double top for a 6-5 win. There were 13 maximums hit in the eleven legs. Cross hit six, Anderson hit seven. Cross averaged 100.10. Anderson averaged 101.94. 


Anderson went on to beat Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-2 in the final. 


Last 16 Results
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-5 Steve Beaton
Jamie Lewis 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Jason Lowe 6-4 Nathan Rafferty
Rob Cross 6-3 Robert Thornton
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Maik Langendorf
James Wade 6-5 Andrew Gilding
Gary Anderson 6-2 Steve West
Quarter-Final Results
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-4 Jamie Lewis
Jason Lowe 6-2 Adrian Lewis
Rob Cross 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Gary Anderson 6-4 James Wade
Semi-Final Results
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-4 Jason Lowe
Gary Anderson 6-5 Rob Cross
Gary Anderson 6-2 Jeffrey de Zwaan