ROB CROSS claimed his first PDC title since being crowned World Champion with a 6-4 win over Ian White in the final of Players Championship 13 at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Saturday.
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.”
A see-saw final saw Cross race into a 4-0 lead 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 and 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.
The Players Championship weekend will continue tomorrow with Player Championship 14 at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan and will be streamed live on PDCTV-HD.
See full Players Championship 13 results in the Match Centre.
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