World champion Rob Cross wins Players Championship 13 in Wigan

Darts
Rob Cross (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Rob Cross (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Rob Cross claimed his first PDC title since the World Championship with a 6-4 victory over Ian White in the final of the Players Championship 13 in Wigan.

The world number three produced a 100.3 average in his second ProTour final of 2018 to stave off a comeback from White, who fought back from 4-0 down.

Cross recorded wins over Kevin Burness, William O’Connor, Ron Meulenkamp, John Henderson, Jonny Clayton, Stephen Bunting and White en route to clinching the £10,000 top prize.

"When I turned up today I believed I could do great things," said Cross, who edged 11-leg thrillers against Meulenkamp, Henderson and Clayton.

"I was maybe a bit fortunate today, a few people missed match darts against me but I was there to get the job done and get the important wins.

"Ian is a great player - the way he holds himself, he does everything as a true professional and he fought back hard in that final, maybe it could’ve gone the other way.

"I’m still learning and I’m going to get even better – when I’m complete as a player I will win even more but it feels great to win a title again."

Cross raced into a 4-0 lead in the final thanks to some high scoring and clinical finishing, before White stopped the rot after the reigning world champion missed darts to make it 5-0.

White then turned the tie on its head, rattling off the next three legs to level the score at 4-4, before the missing six darts at double to go ahead as Cross punished to break throw and go within a leg of victory.

Cross wrapped up the win with an impressive 13-dart hold of throw in the final leg to seal a fifth Players Championship title of his career.

It was also a day to remember for White, who enjoyed his best run at a Players Championship event since his title win in March and produced a stunning 109.1 average in his last-16 clash with Martin Schindler.

The Stoke thrower defeated Prakash Jiwa, Robert Thornton, Chris Quantock, Schindler, Dirk van Duijvenbode and Jermaine Wattimena to reach the final as he almost racked up a ninth Players Championship crown of his career.

Elsewhere, it was a disappointing day for world number two Peter Wright who was dumped out by Terry Jenkins in round one, while Daryl Gurney’s run was ended by Peter Jacques in the second round.

Mensur Suljovic lost to German ace Schindler in round three, and Dave Chisnall and Michael Smith also suffered first round exits at the hands of Mickey Mansell and Mark Wilson respectively

Simon Whitlock was defeated by Jermaine Wattimena in round three and James Wade lost to Jeffrey de Graaf in round two.

Players Championship 13 results

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

Quarter-finals

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

Semi-finals

Ian White 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena

Rob Cross 6-1 Stephen Bunting

Final

Rob Cross 6-4 Ian White

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