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Kent's Rob Cross wins the PDC World Matchplay darts title after beating Michael Smith

ByCameron Hogwood

Kent's Rob Cross was crowned the PDC World Matchplay darts champion after beating Michael Smith 18-13 on Sunday evening.

The Pembury-born 28-year-old, whose home town is Edenbridge, cruised to a nine leg lead before seeing Smith pull it back to 15-13.

He then claimed the next three legs to seal the win and a prize of £150,000 at Blackpool's Winter Gardens.

Rob Cross, left, pictured with Merlins Entertainment's Lee Dunn and her nephew Gary after winning the Sheppey Darts Classic in June 2017. Picture: Tony Cox
Rob Cross, left, pictured with Merlins Entertainment's Lee Dunn and her nephew Gary after winning the Sheppey Darts Classic in June 2017. Picture: Tony Cox

Cross turned professional in 2016 having previously worked as an electrician and played local league darts from the age of 15.

New Year's Day 2018 saw him beat 16-time world champion Phil Taylor 7-2 in the Power's last match before retiring to win the PDC world title and pocket £400,000.

His latest success means he sits among the likes of Taylor, Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson as a double winner.

It also marks his first title victory since the Brisbane Darts Masters in August last year.

Cross told the PDC website: "It feels amazing. I'm lost for words - so happy that I've won this title.

"It was a weird game. I went so far in front and towards the end I switched off, so the double 16 to put me 17-13 up was what won it for me.

"Michael played great darts all week but he struggled on doubles tonight and it made me more edgy. He came back well but I had to stay calm."

His semi-final against Daryl Gurney had seen him fight back from 14-7 and 15-9 down to win eight consecutive legs and take the match 17-15.

Cross first started out with Edenbridge team The Swan and Cowden's The Fountain, playing in the Edenbridge & Oxted League on a Monday.

He also honed his craft in the Sevenoaks Charity Darts League on a Tuesday as well as the Crawley Friday Darts League.

Read more: All the latest Kent sport news

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