Saturday 21st July 2018 - Sunday 29th July 2018

Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Rob Cross is through to the last sixteen of the 2018 BetVictor World Matchplay with a 10-5 win against Mervyn King in the opening round at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool on Sunday evening. 

 

The World Champion plays Darren Webster in the second round at approximately 9pm on Wednesday evening (25th July) over the best of 21 legs, live on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Action and talkSPORT2.

 

Last 32 (vs Mervyn King)

 

Going into the opening round clash between Cross and King both players had been in good form with Cross winning his fifth Players Championship title just a few weeks earlier and following up with three other appearances in finals, one of those was another Players Championship event and the others being World Series events in Las Vegas and Shanghai.

 

King claimed his first PDC title for four years in June when he also won a Players Championship title by beating in-form James Wade 6-2 in the final.

 

Playing King was not going to be an easy task for Cross as going into the match the 52-year-old had a winning record against the World Champion having met on five previous occasions with King leading the head-to-head 3-2.

 

As the match get underway it was King who had the better start. 'Voltage' missed a dart at double top and one at double ten in the opening leg allowing the Suffolk man to break throw by hitting double eight in a 17 dart leg. King then held throw in 15 darts, finishing off 72 with a bull to go 2-0 up.

 

Cross started the third leg with his first maximum of the match and added another to leave double eighteen after twelve darts thrown. One further dart was all that was required for the Hastings man to get his first leg on the board.

 

King then made it 3-1 with another 17 dart leg, this time finishing with his favourite double sixteen. King threatened to go 4-1 up by leaving 78 after 12 darts in the next leg but up stepped Cross to take out what was to be the highest checkout of the match, 153 (T19, T20, D18).

 

In they went for the first interval with King leading 3-2 and both players averaging in the high nineties.

 

Cross soon turned things around as he reeled off the next three legs in 14, 14 and 16 darts, of which two were against throw to lead 5-3. King missed three darts at doubles in the first of those legs, Cross won the second with a third 180 and a 96 outshot (T20, D18).

 

One missed dart at double sixteen from Cross allowed King back into the match as he broke back with a 16 darter finishing on double fifteen. 

 

King's hopes received another dent in the next leg as Cross broke straight back by hitting double five for an eighty finish in an 18 dart leg to go into the second interval 6-4 up.

 

A fourth maximum from Cross followed in the next leg as he won it in 13 darts to open up a three leg advantage. 

 

King wasn't done with just yet though as he took out a 15 darter to narrow the gap back. A twelve dart leg from Cross followed. Scores of 100, 140, 140 and a 121 finish (T20, 25, D18) did the trick as the former electrician moved 8-5 up.

 

Cross continued his good scoring in the next leg as he left 48 after twelve darts but some stray efforts at doubles followed as he eventually hit double one for a 19 darter. 'Voltage' nearly won the match with a 170 finish but a miss at the bull left 25 which he wrapped up in two darts for a 14 dart closing leg and a 10-5 win..

 

Cross hit four 180s and averaged 98.58. King hit five 180's and averaged 91.85