Rob Cross celebrates becoming Betfred World Matchplay champion at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

Rob Cross celebrates winning the Phil Taylor Trophy at the Winter Gardens      Picture: Chris Dean/PDC
Rob Cross celebrates winning the Phil Taylor Trophy at the Winter Gardens Picture: Chris Dean/PDC
Share this article

Rob Cross could not hide his emotions after lifting the Betfred World Matchplay trophy at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on Sunday.

The 2018 PDC world champion lifted the Phil Taylor Trophy following an 18-13 victory against Michael Smith.

“It feels amazing,” said Cross. “I’m lost for words – so happy that I’ve won this title.

“I’ve loved this place from day one and it’s been so special to me. Everything about this tournament is amazing and to walk out with this (trophy) makes it all complete.

“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.

“The crowd were amazing, they carried me through yesterday and carried Michael today.”

Cross has reached the UK Open and Premier League finals during 2019, but the World Matchplay triumph ended almost 12 months since his last tournament win; the Brisbane Darts Masters.

“I’ve not played badly this year and I’ve broken my duck now,” he added. “There was pressure because I’ve lost in two finals this year, so to get over the winning line is huge.”

Smith, a former Premier League and World Championship finalist, said: “Even at 9-0 down I still believed that I was going to win, but you pay the price for being 9-0 down.

“I proved that I can fight but when I got back in it, my doubles disappeared again.

“My scoring wasn’t there and my finishing wasn’t, but all credit to Rob because he did a job. I’ve made another final and it’s another runner-up trophy but it won’t stop me.”