2018 Coral UK Open - Qualifier 5 

Saturday 10th February 2018

Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan

After a semi-final appearance the previous day, Rob Cross continued his good run of form into the Coral UK Open Qualifier 5 at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, going one better and making the final where he lost out to Corey Cadby 6-4. On route to the final Cross posted a 117.99 average in a 6-2 beating of Jan Dekker and beat world number two Peter Wright 6-4 with a 156 checkout in the final leg of their semi-final.


Last 128 (vs Jan Dekker)

Jan Decker was in good form going into this match having posted a 103.57 average in his 6-1 win over new tour card holder George Killington in their last 256 tie. The win against Killington included outshots of 138 and 106.


'Voltage' came out the blocks firing on all cyclinders, racing into a 3-0 lead with legs of 12, 10 and 12 darts. Each of these legs included a 180, the first included a 96 checkout (T20, x, D18), the second was won with four darts from 181. A score of 165 setting up a double eight outshot and the third resulted in an 86 checkout (T18, x, D16). Decker won the fourth leg in 13 darts by hitting double eight with his third attempt at a double. A 57 finish (17, 20, D10) in a 15 dart leg put Cross 4-1 up, then one missed dart at the bull in the next allowed Dekker to take out 32 (16, D8) for a 17 darter. Cross then closed out the match with legs of 13 and 11 darts. The 13 darter included another 180 and taking out double eighteen at the third attempt and the 11 darter was won with a 100 checkout (T20, D20) after scores of 134, 96 and 171. Both players hit four 180s with Cross averaging 117.99 and Dekker 112.16.


Last 64 (vs Nicholas Bell) 

Nicholas Bell won matches against Sean Bell 6-2, Steve Hine 6-4 and Joe Murnan 6-2 to reach the last 64 with averages of 83.49, 87.72 and 90.46. In the match against Hine he missed double eighteen for a nine darter.


Despite Cross' excellent performance in the previous round Bell was to prove a tough opponent for the world champion to crack. Bell held throw in the opening leg with a 43 checkout (3, D20) to win it in 14 darts. He was then left waiting on 40 as Cross took out a 115 finish (19, T20, D18) for a 15 darter. Bell then went 2-1 up by matching Cross's 15 darter, taking out 61 (bull, 3, D4) with Cross back on 150. 'Voltage' kicked off the next leg with what was to be his only 180 of the match and finished it with a 60 checkout (20, D20) for a 14 darter. Back came Bell again to go 3-2 up, this time Cross missed three darts at a double as his opponent hit double ten with his fourth dart at a double for a 17 darter. Cross won the next leg in 13 darts, taking out double top at the first attempt then finally broke Bell's throw with a 14 dart leg, finishing off 80 with a treble twenty and double ten. This gave Cross a 4-3 lead and he extended it with another 13 dart leg, this time by hitting double eight. Bell won the next leg in 18 darts to trail 5-4 but Cross came back with a 16 dart leg, hitting double sixteen to close out the match 6-4. Cross averaged 102.26. Bell hit one 180 and averaged 95.30. 


Last 32 (vs Stefan Nilles)

Stefan Nilles beat Ian Lever 6-2, Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-2 and Dave Ladley 6-4 to reach the last 32 with averages of 74.08, 89.32 and 80.87.


Surprisingly Nilles proved to be a tougher opponent for the world champion then expected as this one went to the deciding leg. He won the opening two legs in 15 and 18 darts. An 84 finish in the opening leg (T20, 12, D6) after Cross had missed two darts at a double was followed by a checkout of 20, hitting double five after three previous missed darts at doubles. Cross then got himself on the scoreboard with an 11 dart winning leg, scoring 140, 134, 180 and checking out on 47 (15, D16). Then one missed dart at double top from Nilles gave Cross the opportunity to level the match at 2-2 and he duly took it with a 77 outshot (T19, x, D10) in an 18 dart leg. Nilles hit double eight for a 20 darter to lead 3-2 then Cross came back to level again by hitting the same double for a 16 darter. Cross finally got in front as he won the next leg in 18 darts by taking out 113. Nilles levelled with a 16 dart leg finishing on double five. He then went on to miss a dart at double top in the next as Cross took out double four in a 21 dart leg to go 5-4 up. Nilles then found double top in the next for a 16 darter to send the match into a decider. Cross stepped up and after an opening score of 95 hit back-to-back 180s as he won the leg by hitting double sixteen at the third attempt. Cross hit five 180s and averaged 89.29. Nilles averaged 86.73.   


Last 16 (vs Chris Dobey)

Chris Dobey won matches against Ryan Searle 6-5, Zoran Lerchbacher 6-2 and Dirk Van Duijvenbode 6-5 with averages of 92.17, 90.28 and 92.30 to reach the last 16.


The first four legs of this match were all won in 13 darts. Dobey holding throw in the first by hitting double twelve then Cross levelled by hitting double eighteen. Cross then broke throw in the next by taking out double seventeen and went 3-1 up by taking out double sixteen. Dobey then fired in an eleven darter with scores of 134, 180 and 139 then taking out 48 (16, D16). Cross missed two darts at double sixteen in the next as Dobey levelled the match at three apiece with a 15 dart leg, checking out on 116 (19, T19, D20). Cross then won the next three legs in 14, 13 and 15 darts to win the match 6-3, taking out 25 (9, D8), 18 and 25 again (9, 8, D4). In those three legs Dobey missed just the one dart at double top in what was to be the last leg of the match. Cross hit three 180s and averaged 103.74. Dobey hit one 180 and averaged 101.32.


Quarter-Finals (vs Steve West)

Steve West reached the quarter-finals with wins against Marko Kantele 6-4, Max Hopp 6-1, Jim Walker 6-0 and Jonny Clayton 6-4 with averages of 89.66, 92.89, 95.93 and 93.36.


'Voltage' won the opening leg of his quarter-final with West by taking out double top in a 16 dart leg after West had missed two darts at a double to break throw. West then took out 76 (T20, x, D8) to level in 15 darts. Another two missed darts from West in the third leg allowed Cross to take out 110 (20, T20, D15) to go 2-1 up. Cross then broke throw, hitting double eighteen in a 13 dart leg and won the next after further missed chances from West. This time Cross took out 19 (2, D8) in a 17 dart leg. The Hastings sharp shooter now lead 4-1 but West wasn't going to back down just yet as he took out 139 (T19, T14, D20) for a 12 darter and hit double five in the next in a 19 dart leg after both players missed earlier chances. Cross won the next with a 122 finish (T18, T18, D7) in a 15 dart leg to lead 5-3. West came back with a 15 darter with a 13 finish (5, x, D4). This was folowed by another 15 darter, this time from Cross with a 120 outshot (T20, 20, D20) to seal a 6-4 win. Cross hit one 180 and averaged 92.37. West hit three 180's and averaged 98.17.


Semi-Finals (vs Peter Wright)

World number two Peter Wright won matches against Michael Barnard 6-5, Simon Stevenson 6-3, Ian White 6-3, Justin Pipe 6-1 and Jelle Klaasen 6-2 to reach the semi-finals with averages of 97.02, 89.13, 110.27, 101.50 and 103.28.


The first eight legs of this semi-final encounter all went with throw. Wright won the opener in 15 darts by taking out 41 (9, x, D16) and then missed two attempts at double sixteen to go two up as Cross closed out 92 in two darts by hitting treble twenty and double sixteen for a 14 darter. 'Voltage' missed a dart at bull in the next for a 167 finaish as Wright took out 96 (T20, D18) for a 14 darter himself. Cross then finished off the next in 15 darts with a 114 outshot (T20, 18, D18). Back came Wright with a 12 darter finishing on 121 (20, T17, bull). A miss at double top for a 72 finish from Wright in the next allowed Cross to take out 16 (x, D8) for a 17 darter. Wright then had a 13 dart leg, finishing off with double sixteen and Cross came back with a 66 finish (T18, D6) in a 14 dart leg. One missed dart at double top from Wright in the ninth leg swung the match in Cross' favour as he took out 68 (T20, D4) in another 14 dart leg. Cross then held throw to win the match 6-4 by taking out 156 (T20, T20, D18) in a 12 dart leg. Cross hit three 180's and averaged 103.35. Wright hit one 180 and averaged 104.37. This was the third time Cross had beaten Wright in six attempts.


Final (vs Corey Cadby)

Corey Cadby won through to his first PDC Pro Tour final, just weeks after winning his tour card. He needed to win seven matches to get there. His victims were John Part 6-0, Benito van de Pas 6-5, Jason Lowe 6-3, Darren Johnson 6-3, Simon Whitlock 6-2, Michael Smith 6-4 and Kim Huybrechts 6-1 with averages of 104.86, 92.11, 93.00, 107.27, 92.63, 101.84 and 101.97.


The final was a top class battle between two of the best new stars on the pro circuit. Cross won the opening leg in 15 darts to break throw with an 88 checkout (20, T188, D7) and followed up with a 24 finish (12, D6) for a 14 darter to lead 2-0. Cadby hit double top at the first attempt to win the next in 13 darts then missed the bull for a 164 finish as Cross finished off 85 (T19, x, D14) for a 15 darter to lead 3-1. Another break of throw in the next leg came Cross' way as he posted scores of 85, 180 and 140 and checked out on 96 (T20, D18). Most viewers would have thought the match was now firmly in the grasp of the world champion but Cadby fired himself up by matching Cross's 11 darter in the next leg with scores of 180, 128, 140 and a 53 finish (13, D20) to break straight back. The Aussie youngster won the next leg in 13 darts by taking out double ten to trail 4-3. The following leg was a belter. Cross had the throw and was left on 125 after nine darts thrown while Cadby was on 161. Cross hit bull and twenty-five to leave the bull but missed it by hitting another twenty-five. Cadby then took out the 161 (T20, T17, bull) to level the match at 4-4. Cross scored poorly with his opening two throws of the ninth leg as Cadby took it by hitting double ten for a 16 darter with Cross left on 80. Cadby then went on to win the next leg in 12 darts with a 134 finish (T20, T14, D16) to win the match in enthatic style with Cross back on 146. Cross hit two 180s and averaged 102.67. Cadby hit three 180s and averaged 108.77.          


Last 16 Results
Corey Cadby 6-2 Simon Whitlock
Michael Smith 6-0 John Henderson
Vincent Kamphuis 6-2 Martin Schindler
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Mervyn King
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 David Evans
Peter Wright 6-1 Justin Pipe
Rob Cross 6-3 Chris Dobey
Steve West 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Quarter-Final Results
Corey Cadby 6-4 Michael Smith
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Vincent Kamphuis
Peter Wright 6-2 Jelle Klaasen
Rob Cross 6-4 Steve West
Semi-Final Results
Corey Cadby 6-1 Kim Huybrechts
Rob Cross 6-4 Peter Wright
Corey Cadby 6-4 Rob Cross