Saturday 22nd September 2018 - Sunday 23rd September 2018

Paddy Power Champions League of Darts

Brighton Centre

Rob Cross crashed out of the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts at the Brighton Centre with a win and two defeats from his three group matches. He opened up with a 10-8 defeat against reigning champion Mensur Suljovic, beat Simon Whitlock by the same scoreline then lost 10-3 against Peter Wright.


Playing in front of a Sussex crowd for the first time since turning pro and becoming world champion Cross was not performing well against Suljovic but a better display against Whitlock gave the local fans something to cheer about. A heavy defeat by Wright followed where once again he performed below his expectations.


Cross ended up third in his group behind Suljovic and Wright with Whitlock finishing fourth.


The worlds top eight players competed in two groups of four over three sessions on Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon with the semi-finals and final played on Sunday evening.


Group matches were played over the best of 19 legs with the semi-final and final to be played over the best of 21 legs.


In the group stage two points were awarded per win. No points for a defeat with the top two progressing to the sem-finals. If two players were tied on points, leg difference seperated the players. If two players were tied on points and leg difference the winner of the group match will determine the higher placing. If three players were tied on points and leg difference there would have been a nine-dart shoot out on stage to determine placings.


The groups were as follows:


Group A

Michael van Gerwen

Gary Anderson

Daryl Gurney

Dave Chisnall


Group B

Peter Wright

Rob Cross

Mensur Suljovic

Simon Whitlock  


Opening session results (played on Saturday afternoon):


Group B
Mensur Suljovic 10-8 Rob Cross
Peter Wright 10-7 Simon Whitlock
Group A
Daryl Gurney 10-8 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 10-2 Dave Chisnall


Second session results (played on Saturday evening):


Group B
Rob Cross 10-8 Simon Whitlock
Mensur Suljovic 10-7 Peter Wright
Group A
Gary Anderson 10-3 Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen 10-7 Daryl Gurney


Third session results (played on Sunday afternoon):


Group B
Mensur Suljovic 10-1 Simon Whitlock
Pater Wright 10-3 Rob Cross
Group A
Daryl Gurney 10-7 Dave Chisnall
Gary Anderson 10-9

Michael van Gerwen


Final group tables:


Group A Pld W L Leg Diff Pts
1 Michael van Gerwen 3 2 1 +10 4
2 Gary Anderson 3 2 1 +6 4
3 Daryl Gurney 3 2 1 +2 4
4 Dave Chisnall 3 0 3 -18 0



Group B Pld W L Leg Diff Pts
1 Mensur Suljovic 3 3 0 +14 6
2 Peter Wright 3 2 1 +7 4
3 Rob Cross 3 1 2 -7 2
4 Simon Whitlock 3 0 3 -14 0


Final session results (played on Sunday evening):.  


Gary Anderson 11-4 Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright 11-9 Michael van Gerwen
Gary Anderson 11-4 Peter Wright


Group match vs Mensur Suljovic


Mensur Suljovic defeated Rob Cross 10-8 in the opening match..


It was the Austrian's fourth victory over the world champion this year in five clashes and a big turnaround on last year's meetings where Cross won all four.


Suljovic held throw in the opening leg, taking out a 101 finish on his favourite double fourteen for an 18 darter. Cross levelled in 18 darts, Suljovic won the third leg in 15 darts and Cross the fourth in 14 darts, finishing on 76 (T20, D8).


The Hastings star then had the first break of the match with another 14 darter after Suljovic missed a dart at double eight. A 113 finish from Cross (20, T19, D18) gave him a 4-2 lead then Suljovic took the next with a 71 finish (13, 18, D20). 


A 13 darter from Cross put him 5-3 up. Suljovic then won the next two legs with 15 darters that included an 81 finish on the bull for the second break of the match to go into the interval level at 5-5.


Suljovic came out and regained the lead with a 14 darter, Cross levelled in 15 darts finishing with 90 (20, 20 bull). Further holds of throw in 16 and 17 darts followed then both players had 13 darters as the score moved on to eight apiece.


Cross had a chance to go 9-8 up but was unable to take out 120 as he couldn't find a treble with his first two darts. Suljovic came back to win the leg in 17 darts.


In the next leg Cross left himself 56 after 15 darts as last year's champion took out 25 (9, x, D8) to cliam a 10-8 win.


Suljovic hit two 180s and averaged 96.46


Cross hit four 180s and averaged 91.79

Group match vs Simon Whitlock


Rob Cross took out a magnificent 131 checkout (T17, D20, D20) on the way to beating Simon Whitlock 10-8 in the second session of group matches.


Whitlock won four of the first six legs and things didn't look good for the world champion but he responded well to take eight of the next twelve legs to keep his chances of making the semi-finals alive.


The first four legs of the match went with throw then Whitlock broke with a 19 darter after both players missed darts at doubles. The Aussie backed it up with a 104 finish (T16, 16, D20) to lead 4-2. 


Cross bounced straight back with a 73 finish (T19, D8) for a 14 darter and levelled in 15 darts. Whitlock regained the lead then the former electrician made it 5-5 as they went into the break.


A 108 checkout (T19, 19, D16) from Cross followed by a hold of throw gave him a 7-5 advantage only for the man from down under to take the next three legs in 13, 14 and 17 darts to lead 8-7.


Cross then won the remaining three legs for victory. A 16 darter, the 131 finish for a 12 darter and a 17 darter finishing on double eighteen.


Cross hit four 180s and averaged 94.03


Whitlock hit five 180s and averaged 89.83

Group match vs Peter Wright


Peter Wright comfortably won this match as Cross never got going.


It was the first time this year that Wright has beaten Cross on stage following a defeat in the Unibet Premier League and in three defeats in World Series of Darts semi-finals.


In the opening leg Wright mssed a dart at bull for an 86 finish. Cross then hit two treble eighteens and missed a dart at tops for a 148 finish. Wright then allowed Cross in again as he failed to close out twenty-five but Cross then missed a dart at double ten and two at double five as Wright came back to finish the leg off in 21 darts.


Snakebite then won the next three legs in 13, 12 and 12 darts for a 4-0 lead. This included a 121 checkout in the fourth leg (20, T17, bull). 


Four-nil was soon turned into five-nil. This time a sixteen darter from the Scotsman. Cross then got his first leg on the board with a 13 darter finishing on double eight.


Another 16 darter re-established a five leg advantage for Wright. The Hastings man then rallied by pulling off back-to-back legs in 14 and 17 darts but was unble to hold throw in the tenth leg as Wright won it in 15 darts to lead 7-3.


After the interval Wright started off with two great legs to lead 9-3. An 11 darter with scores of 123, 180, 134 and a 64 finish (T16, D8) was followed with an 10 darter with scores of 140, 180, 145 and a double eighteen finish.


Cross missed a dart at double sixteen for a 110 finish in what ended up being the final leg of the match as Wright returned to hit double ten to seal his place in the sem-finals.


Wright hit seven 180s and averaged 101.77


Cross hit three 180s and averaged 89.70