Voltage Victory: Cross wins first title as World Champion with win over White
Rob Cross returned to title-winning ways in Wigan as he conquered the 128-man field at the Robin Park Leisure Centre.
Cross, who claimed four Players Championship titles last year and the £400,000 World Championship in January, had undergone a six month trophy drought before play began in Wigan. ‘Voltage’ snatched the £10,000 title courtesy of a 6-4 victory over Ian White in a thrilling final.
The world number three enjoyed wins over Kevin Burness, William O’Connor, Ron Meulenkamp, John Henderson and Jonny Clayton as he booked his place in the semi-finals.
Cross produced a stunning showing in the his semi-final clash with fellow Nevada Sports representative Stephen Bunting. The world number three thrashed ‘The Bullet’ 6-1 to reach his second final of the year.
The reigning World Champion pinned five maximums and a 100 average as he saw off Ian White in the final.
Cross’ victory this afternoon at the Robin Park Leisure Centre is his first title since beating Phil Taylor and being crowned World Champion in January.
When speaking to Dan Dawson following his fifth Players Championship title win, Cross said: “When I turned up today I believed I could do great things.”
Cross survived multiple match darts at the hands of John Henderson and was made to come through last leg deciders in three of his seven matches.
He added: “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.”
Ian White, who lifted a Players Championship title in Milton Keynes three months ago, once again appeared at the backend of a ProTour event as he enjoyed wins over Prakash Jiwa, Robert Thornton, Chris Quantock, Martin Schindler, Dirk van Duijvenbode and Jermaine Wattimena en route to the final in Wigan.
Despite suffering a 6-4 defeat to Cross in the final, White pocketed £6,000 as he continued a flattering start to the year.
Jermaine Wattimena reached the semi-finals stage of a ProTour event for the second time as he threw some spellbinding number throughout the duration of the day in Wigan.
The Dutchman averaged just over the 111 mark en route to whitewashing Simon Whitlock 6-0 in the third round.
Dirk van Duijvenbode, who had won just one game on the Players Championship circuit since February before today’s play began, went all the way to the quarter-finals in an inspired display from the Dutchman
Peter Wright, Michael Smith and Dave Chisnall were all dumped out in the opening round in Wigan while Daryl Gurney’s hopes of a first title of the year were abolished as he suffered a second round exit at the helm of Peter Jacques.
The three-day ProTour weekend will resume tomorrow at 12pm at the Robin Park Leisure Centre as another £75,000 tournament takes place.
Players Championship 13
Saturday June 16
Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
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
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
Ian White 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Rob Cross 6-1 Stephen Bunting
Rob Cross 6-4 Ian White