Unibet Premier League

Thursday 7th February 2019

Utilita Arena, Newcastle

Rob Cross and Peter Wright had to wait until the last match of the evening to get their 2019 Unibet Premier League campaigns underway at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle, but it was worth the wait as both players performed well as they fought out a 6-6 draw.


Cross got off to a great start by winning the opening two legs in 15 and 10 darts. Having taken out 55 in the first leg with a second dart at double eighteen the Hastings man fired in scores of 140, 177 and 144 (T20, T20, T8) then hit the double ten as his opponent was left on 282 after a shoddy start.


A miss at double top cost Cross the chance of making it 3-0 as Wright finished off 87 with two darts (T17, D18) for a 17 darter. Wright was now starting to play better and in the fourth leg he left 57 after 12 darts but it wasn’t enough to stop Cross’ good start as he took out double eighteen for a 13 darter to lead 3-1.


Wright won the fifth leg in 14 darts with a 100 finish (T20, D20) and then took out an 11 darter having scored 140, 140, 180 and finished off 41 with a single nine and double sixteen with Cross left waiting on 36 having also hit a 180 with his second throw of the leg.

‘Snakebite’ then won his third straight leg, this time in 15 darts with an 88 finish (20, 18, bull) with Cross left on 112 having thrown 12 darts. The following leg saw Wright hit his second maximum of the match but it was Cross who looked in control having left double four after eleven darts. Four missed darts at doubles gave Wright a chance of making it four legs on the bounce, but this time he missed efforts at double twenty and double ten as the former world champion came back and hit the double two after another missed effort at double four, for a 17 darter.


Cross hit his second 180 of the match in the ninth leg but Wright didn’t give him a shot at a double as he took a 5-4 lead with a 15 darter, finishing off 48 (8, 20, D10) with Cross left on 68. ‘Voltage’ then levelled again with a 15 darter of his own, taking out 62 (T10, x, D16) with Wright waiting on 40.


Another 15 dart leg followed as Wright secured a point by taking out 25 (14, 3, D4) with Cross back on 120, then in the final leg of the match Wright hit his third 180 of the match and left himself 116 after nine darts with Cross back on 225. Cross then fired in a 177 to leave 48. Wright hit treble and single twenties but missed an effort at double eighteen to snatch victory. Up stepped Cross to hit single sixteen, double sixteen for a 14 darter and a share of the points.


A fair result in the end from an entertaining match. Cross averaged 103.57, Wright averaged 101.56      


James Wade 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Gerwyn Price 7-4 Daryl Gurney
Chris Dobey 6-6 Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen 7-5 Michael Smith
Peter Wright 6-6 Rob Cross