Rob Cross 10 Ian White 7

BetVictor World Matchplay debutant Rob Cross has beaten Ian ‘Diamond’ White 10-7 in the first round in Blackpool this evening.


This was the Stoke-on-Trent man’s first opening round defeat in six visits to the Winter Gardens and his first defeat at the venue from someone outside the top six in the PDC Order of Merit.


Both players struggled to settle early on as the opening seven legs all went with throw to give Cross a 4-3 lead.


The first break came in the eighth leg with Cross opening up with his second maximum of the match, he followed that with scores of 57 and 140, missed double eleven for a 124 checkout and then hit a single three and pinged double four for a 14 darter.


Cross then held throw to establish a three leg cushion by taking out 68 in three darts in an 18 dart leg to go 6-3 up. He then missed a dart at double sixteen in the next as White hit double four to go into the second interval 6-4 down.


Cross came out firing after the break hitting 140, 140, 96 and taking out 125 (25, T20, D20) in a 12 dart leg to lead 7-4. White then took out 56 in the next to hold but missed a dart at double 14 in the thirteenth leg as Cross finished off 32 in two darts to complete a 14 dart leg to go 8-5 up.


The Hastings man then missed darts in the next two legs as White held throw in 17 darts and broke back in 15 darts to leave Cross just one leg in front at 8-7.


Cross then had his best leg of the match with a superb 11 darter hitting scores of 134, 140, 180 and taking out 47 (15, D16) to lead 9-7.


White then missed two darts at doubles in the next leg as Cross closed out the match by taking out 70 (18, 20, D16) to advance to the second round where he will play two times world champion Adrian Lewis on Wednesday evening at approximately 8pm.


Cross hit three maximums and averaged 95.72


White hit two maximums and averaged 94.61