2018 Players Championship 13 

Saturday 16th June 2018

Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan

Rob Cross won his fifth Players Championship title with wins against Kevin Burness 6-1, William O'Connor 6-3, Ron Meulenkamp 6-5, John Henderson 6-5, Jonny Clayton 6-5, Stephen Bunting 6-1 and Ian White 6-4. The Players Championship 13 title is Cross' first since becoming World Champion.  


Last 128 (vs Kevin Burness)

Cross was always in control of his opening round match against Kevin 'Ironman' Burness having lead 5-0. Burness was pleased to get a leg on the board to trail 5-1 and almost won what proved to be the last leg of the match as he missed a dart at double eighteen for a 150 finish. Cross hit two 180s and took out finishes of 114 and 113 as he averaged 92.73. Burness averaged 86.97.


Last 64 (vs William O'Connor)

This match was on one the streaming boards and O'Connor got off to a great start as he lead the world champion 3-0, winning legs two and three with 14 darters. From that point on the match turned as Cross appeared to kick in to gear as the Irishman struggled to find the treble twenty bed. Cross went on to win the next six legs in 12, 12, 14, 14, 15 and 13 darts for a 6-3 win that included finishes of 84, 81 and 76, averaging 100.46. There were no 180's from either player. O'Connor averaged 88.04. 


Last 32 (vs Ron Meulenkamp)

This match swung one way and another. Cross held throw to lead 1-0 with a 160 finish, Meulenkamp responded with legs of 12 and 15 darts to lead only for Cross to take out 106 to level at 2-2. The next three legs went with throw and included a 112 finish for Cross as he took a 4-3 lead. Meulenkamp missed chances in the next and Cross extended his lead to 5-3. The dutchman took out 76 to narrow the lead and then held throw to make it 5-5 and take it to a decider. Meulenkamp failed to take out 51 in the decider having set himself up with scores of 140, 140 and 170. It was double eighteen that came to Cross' rescue as he won the leg in 13 darts to progress. Surprisingly there were no 180s in the match. Cross averaged 92.70 Meulenkamp averaged 98.68 


Last 16 (vs John Henderson)

This one proved to be the best contest of the day and another that went to a decider with all legs won in 16 darts or less. Cross held throw in the opener in 14 darts, Henderson levelled in 13 darts then took out 140 in a 12 dart leg to go 2-1 up. Cross broke straight back with a 14 darter and then held throw in 11 darts with scores of 140, 180, 134 and a 47 checkout to lead 3-2. Henderson failed to take out 43 in the next as Cross broke again with a 16 darter and then held throw in 14 darts to lead 5-2. Henderson won the next in 11 darts with scores of 180, 140, 127 and a 54 checkout. The 'Highlander' then took out 102 and 74 to win the next two legs in 15 darts apiece and take it to a decider. Once again it was Cross who would progress as Henderson failed to take out 25 with three darts in hand and it was another match winning double eighteen for Cross as he won the final leg in 16 darts. Cross hit four 180s and averaged 104.48. Henderson hit three 180s and averaged 100.24


Quarter-Finals (vs Jonny Clayton)

Next up it was the ninth meeting on the PDC circuit between Cross and Clayton. It was 4-4 going into this one. The match was on one of the streaming boards and yet another that would go to a last leg decider. Cross got off to a good start as he took the opening three legs in 14, 18 and 16 darts. Clayton held throw in the fourth leg in 18 darts then broke with a 14 darter to trail 3-2. Cross broke straight back in 12 darts with scores of 98, 180, 140 and an 83 checkout. Another break of throw in the next, this time a 17 dart leg from Clayton left Cross 4-3 in front. The next three legs were won with throw and all 13 darters. Cross took the match 6-5 with a double eight finish for a 16 darter. Cross hit three 180s and averaged 94.34 Clayton hit two 180s and averaged 94.81  


Semi-Finals (vs Stephen Bunting)

This was the first time Cross and Bunting had crossed paths on the oche and it was Cross that took it 6-1 with some scintillating finishing. Cross won the opening two legs in 15 and 12 darts. The twelve darter was won with scores of 134, 180, 100 and an 87 finish. Bunting then won the third leg against throw, also in 12 darts with scores of 81, 180, 100 and a 140 finish. Cross went 3-1 up with 14 dart leg and made it 4-1 with a 121 outshot. The superb finishing continued as Cross won the next two legs by taking out 164 and 107. The final three legs all won in 15 darts apiece. Both players hit two 180s. Cross averaged 103.93, Bunting averaged 97.27


Final (vs Ian White)

This was the second time Cross and White had met in a Players Championship final. The first was just over a year ago in Milton Keynes where Cross claimed his second title since turning pro. This time around the result went in favour of Cross again as he won his fifth Players Championship title. Cross raced into a 4-0 lead with legs of 19, 16, 13 and 14 darts. White then kicked into gear as he narrowed the gap with a couple of 71 finishes in 15 and 14 darts, won the next in 15 darts then had an excellent 11 darter, scoring 140, 180, 170 with an 11 finish. Having levelled the scores at 4-4 White then threw away a big chance of victory as he missed darts at doubles as Cross held his nerve with a 17 darter to go in front at 5-4. Cross then sealed victory with a 13 darter, scoring 96, 57, 180, 136 and taking out double sixteen. Cross hit five 180s and averaged 100.32, White hit two 180s and averaged 90.85 


Last 16
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Mark Webster
Ian White 6-2 Martin Schindler
Jermaine Wattimena 6-1 Joe Cullen
Peter Jacques 6-5 Kyle Anderson
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Robert Owen
Ricky Evans 6-5 Vincent van der Voort
Jonny Clayton 6-2 James Wilson
Rob Cross 6-5 John Henderson
Ian White 6-3 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Peter Jacques
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Ricky Evans
Rob Cross 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Ian White 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Rob Cross 6-1 Stephen Bunting
Rob Cross 6-4 Ian White