Cross Claims New York Crown

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CROSS DENIES PRICE TO CLINCH MAIDEN US DARTS MASTERS TITLE IN NEW YORK

Rob Cross fought back from 6-4 and 7-6 down to edge out Gerwyn Price and celebrate his maiden bet365 US Darts Masters title in a dramatic finale in New York on Saturday.

Cross secured victory on a bumper night of action at Madison Square Garden, pocketing the £20,000 top prize and clinching his fourth World Series of Darts title in the process.

The 2018 World Champion overcame Michael van Gerwen, Luke Humphries and Price on a thrilling day of action in front of 3,600 fans in the Theater – a record for North American darts.

Cross kicked off Finals Day with a 6-4 win over reigning champion Van Gerwen, winning six of the last eight legs to end the Dutchman’s bid for a record-extending third US Darts Masters crown.

The 33-year-old then defied a stirring fightback from World Champion Humphries in a captivating semi-final, crashing in six 180s to account for the world number one.

Humphries hit back brilliantly from 5-0 down to draw level, but Cross responded magnificently in the closing stages, winning the last two legs in 11 and 12 darts to set up a showdown against Price.

The Welshman was the early aggressor in Saturday’s showpiece, but he was left to rue spurning three darts at double for a commanding 5-2 buffer.

Price did respond with a majestic 164 finish in leg eight to regain the initiative, although both players continued to struggle on throw, with the next three legs resulting in breaks.

Cross halted that pattern in leg 12 to restore parity at six apiece, and although Price put himself back in the ascendancy at 7-6, the Englishman won the last two legs to seal his first televised title of 2024.

“This means a lot to me,” reflected Cross, who didn’t lead at any point in the final until he landed the winning double.

“I felt a little bit spent at the end and I thought Gezzy had me beaten, but I’m really glad to get over the line.

“Gezzy is probably my best mate on tour. He’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, but for me to win any title with the likes of Luke Littler around, you’ve got to embrace it.

“I’m working really hard and I feel better than ever. I think I was a little bit fortunate tonight, but I’ve loved this weekend, it’s been absolutely amazing.”

Price fell agonisingly short in his bid for a first individual televised title since September 2022, although there were plenty of positives to take for the 2021 World Champion.

Price produced the highest average of the weekend in his quarter-final demolition of Peter Wright, averaging 104.52 and firing in a spectacular 170 checkout on his way to a 6-1 success.

The 39-year-old then sealed victory in an epic semi-final against Luke Littler, converting a clinical 108 kill in the decider, after Littler had reeled off legs of 10, 14 and 13 darts to level from 6-3 adrift.

“I’m just struggling to get over the winning line,” conceded Price, who averaged 96 and crashed in four 180s in defeat.

“I just want to get a win under my belt and get my confidence back, but fair play to Rob, he dug deep at the end.

“As much as I want to win, I’ve really enjoyed this weekend and I feel like a win is just around the corner for me.”

Littler produced a trio of 103 averages on his Madison Square Garden debut this weekend, although it wasn’t enough to add to his Bahrain Darts Masters triumph in January.

The teenage sensation followed up his opening round whitewash of Matt Campbell with a 6-2 thumping of 2023 runner-up Jeff Smith, before landing eight 180s in defeat against an impressive Price.

Meanwhile, Humphries won through a high-quality quarter-final against 2019 champion Nathan Aspinall, producing a ton-plus average to overturn a 5-4 deficit.

The World Series of Darts continues with the Mr Vegas Nordic Darts Masters next weekend, as Wright bids to defend his title in Copenhagen on June 7-8.

2024 bet365 US Darts Masters
Saturday June 1
Quarter-Finals
Rob Cross 6-4 Michael van Gerwen
Luke Humphries 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Luke Littler 6-2 Jeff Smith
Gerwyn Price 6-1 Peter Wright

Semi-Finals
Rob Cross 7-5 Luke Humphries
Gerwyn Price 7-6 Luke Littler

Final
Rob Cross 8-7 Gerwyn Price

—–ENDS—–

Images: Matt Heasley/ PDC







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