Rob Cross moved to the top of the Unibet Premier League table with an 8-1 hammering of Michael
Smith in Manchester on Thursday evening.
The 2018 World Champion raced into a 5-0 lead in front of a crowd of over 10,000 at the Manchester Arena and, despite Smith pulling a leg back, completed a comfortable win with three
successive 11 dart finishes.
It was a victory that saw Cross leapfrog Michael van Gerwen, the Dutchman going down 8-5 to Daryl Gurney in the night’s penultimate match.
Gurney, who has now recorded three successive victories over the world number one, controlled the match from the start taking an early 4-0 lead.
Van Gerwen did threaten a fightback with checkouts of 127 and 130, but the Irishman held on to
enhance his chances of reaching the play-offs. “Michael’s the best player in the world so it means a lot to me to beat him again,” said a jubilant Gurney.
“To beat him twice in one season is a nice record to have. I don’t panic against him now, where I
maybe tried too hard to beat him in recent years.
“If I can go into my next two games with the same temperament I could win them, and if I can get
into the top four I will be very happy.”
Gurney’s next match is against Gerwyn Price in Sheffield next week, a man who lost a bad-tempered encounter with James Wade.
The 8-4 triumph for Wade moves him up to third in the Unibet Premier League table, but the win
was overshadowed by Price not shaking Wade’s hand at the conclusion of the match.
In the nights other match, Mensur Suljovic ended Peter Wright’s hopes of a first ever Premier
League crown by winning a tight contest 8-6.