Cross Cruises into Last 8

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2018 world champion Rob Cross advanced to the quarter-finals with a very comfortable 4-0 rout of Jonny Clayton.

The first set was a dominant display from Cross, a first leg break with a 140 checkout putting Clayton under early pressure. ‘The Ferret’ would take his next leg with throw, but that would be all.

If there was a perfect follow-up, set 2 would probably be it. 3-nil and with little response from Clayton, for whom the last 8 must have seemed a distant prospect at this point.

He would rally in a small way with leg 1 of set 3, but he got little look in thereafter, in what was another very consummate set from Cross.

The Welshman’s faint hopes of making the quarter-finals needed reviving, and set 4 was certainly some attempt at that. After Rob took the first leg, Clayton levelled. A 15 darter then put Cross one leg away, but ‘The Ferret’ found something to force the first decider. It was a strong leg from both, but ‘Voltage’ ultimately needed only one dart at a double. Clayton could do little else.

Kicking off the session, Scott Williams denied Australian hopes of a quarter-final with a confident 4-1 win over Damon Heta.

Williams had already ousted two seeds in this year’s Worlds, and might have fancied his chances against Heta, who needed seven sets to beat Berry van Peer at the last stage.

The first set went right to the wire, an opening leg from Williams followed by a 126 out from Heta before the pair traded breaks. The deciding leg would be Williams’s however.

Set 2 saw Heta return to form, taking it 3-1 at a canter, despite the leg from ‘Shaggy’ being won with the Big Fish 170.

The third set would see another five-leg nail-biter, but Williams would once again crucially have the darts in the decider. And even though Heta opened with a 180, Williams made him pay.

Williams now embodied a larger confidence, a 108 in the first leg of set 4 setting the tone. And no decider would be required in this set, a break from Williams in leg 3 helping him on his way.

‘The Heat’ was certainly under the flames now, but he was not going down without a fight. He held onto his throw for dear life and managed a break in leg 3, but a visit straight after that of 23 would quite precisely capture the story of the match. Williams broke back and the fifth leg, with throw, would go as the others already had.

Later, Dave Chisnall overcame mid-game setbacks to defeat Daryl Gurney 4-2.

The first two sets both went to deciders, the much fancied encounter failing to really flare up in the early stages. It was Chizzy who had the edge in set 1, his scoring a clear step up from Gurney, though he would require all five legs to take it.

And Chisnall got the better of the second too, despite missing 9 darts for the set in an abysmal leg from both.

Getting out of that quagmire seemed to ignite ‘Chizzy’ by speeding to a 2-1 lead. Gurney would however force a decider, a duo of 140s doing the trick. This one had to be different for the Northern Irishman however, or a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 deficit would be against him. One of his best legs of the match so far ensued, a 12 darter sealed with a 130. With no interval to follow, could he gather a bit of momentum?

It certainly seemed through. The next set was won to love, a nonchalant 151 checkout wrapping things up and leaving Chisnall wondering just how he had squandered a 2-nil lead from the verge of a 3-nil one.

Set 5 was however a different story. Perhaps something in him was set alight after the disappointment of preceding legs, but ‘Chizzy’ showed little mercy in reeling off three straight legs to whitewash Gurney for a 3-2 lead.

Dave might have saved some heartache and got here two sets earlier, but he was here now. ‘Superchin’ took leg 1, but after that it all went one way. Some superlative scoring and more efficient doubles sent Chisnall over the line and Gurney packing.

The tournament is being broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK, through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV (excluding UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria & Switzerland based subscribers).

2023/24 Paddy Power World Darts Championship
Saturday December 30
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Fourth Round
Scott Williams 4-1 Damon Heta (3-2, 1-3, 3-2, 3-1, 3-2)
Dave Chisnall 4-2 Daryl Gurney (3-2, 3-2, 2-3, 0-3, 3-0, 3-1)
Rob Cross 4-0 Jonny Clayton (3-1, 3-0, 3-1, 3-2)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Gary Anderson v Brendan Dolan
Luke Littler v Raymond van Barneveld
Luke Humphries v Joe Cullen


Images: PDC

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