Cross and Price among quarter-finalists while Wade departs
Rob Cross and former UK Open finalist, Gerwyn Price, progressed to the quarter-finals of the 2019 Ladbrokes UK Open, while former champion, James Wade, and Dave Chisnall departed on day two at Butlin’s Resort in Minehead.
Price, who fell short two years ago in Minehead in a final defeat against Peter Wright, continued his terrific run of form as he put aside Krzysztof Ratajski in a 10-3 thrashing of the ‘Polish Eagle’.
The Welshman has undergone a real purple patch in recent weeks which has culminated in him winning back-to-back titles on the ProTour in Barnsley, and maintaining an unbeaten start in the Unibet Premier League.
Price has materialised into the man to beat in Minehead, and he will take some stopped. ‘The Iceman’ produced an average of 104.57 and nailed finishes of 144, 145 and 117 during a spellbinding performance.
He’ll face the lowest ranked player remaining in world number 68, Simon Stevenson, who has been the story of the UK Open this far. The ‘Mirror Man’ was 1000/1 pre-tournament outsider, but after he followed up his wins over Kim Huybretchs and Raymond van Barneveld, with a resurgent 10-9 victory over Dave Chisnall, he’ll appear in his maiden major quarter-final on Sunday afternoon in Minehead.
Rob Cross kept himself in the hunt for his first major title since his famous World Championship triumph last year, as he came through a scrappy affair against Spain’s Cristo Reyes. Hastings’ Cross averaged just 93.52 but it was enough to see off a visibly disappointed Reyes.
‘Voltage’ saved the best checkout of the match for his final throw, as he pinned a magnificent 134 outshot to seal his place in the last eight.
Cross will take on former World Youth Championship finalist, Josh Payne, in his second UK Open quarter-final. Payne inflicted a major blow to the hands of Simon Whitlock, as he averaged 91.57 and hit two maximums en route to a 10-7 win over an out-of-sorts Simon Whitlock.
Michael Smith, who had emergency surgery on Monday to remove an abscess, eased into the quarter-finals with a 10-3 win over Jermaine Wattimena. Smith needed just 20 minutes to saunter into the last eight, averaging just under 102 and hitting 10 of his 18 attempts at the outer ring.
Steve Beaton will be Smith’s last eight opponent after he denied Dimitri van den Bergh in a thriller on stage two to reach his first UK Open quarter-final in 15 years. ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ inflicted a narrow 10-8 win over the Belgian, proving his success over Gary Anderson was no flash in the pan.
With the match level at 6-6, Beaton was victorious in four of the next six legs, including a 102 outshot in the final leg to clinch his place in the last eight in Minehead.
James Wade suffered a major blow at the hands of Ross Smith, as the two-time champion, Wade, departed at the sixth round stage of proceedings in Minehead.
Smith led throughout the duration of the match, and closed out a 10-7 victory to reach his maiden PDC major quarter-final.
The 30-year-old will face World Darts Championship semi-finalist, Nathan Aspinall, in the quarter-finals after the Stockport ace fought back from 7-3 down to secure a 10-8 win over Steve Lennon, ending Irish hopes in the process following the exits of Daryl Gurney and Mickey Mansell earlier in the day.
Aspinall trailed 7-3 in what seemed to be heading in the direction of the Irishman, but won seven of the next eight legs to close out a narrow victory, and book his place in the last eight of his second major in as many months.
The Ladbrokes UK Open will resume on Sunday afternoon at Butlin’s Resort in Minehead, with a new champion being crowned on Sunday evening.
LADBROKES UK OPEN
Saturday March 2, Butlin’s Resort, Minehead
Ross Smith 10-7 James Wade
Gerwyn Price 10-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael Smith 10-3 Jermaine Wattimena
Rob Cross 10-6 Cristo Reyes
Nathan Aspinall 10-8 Steve Lennon
Simon Stevenson 10-9 Dave Chisnall
Steve Beaton 10-8 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Josh Payne 10-7 Simon Whitlock
Sunday March 3
Rob Cross v Josh Payne
Michael Smith v Steve Beaton
Simon Stevenson v Gerwyn Price
Nathan Aspinall v Ross Smith
Semi-Finals & Final