World champion Cross crashes out of BetVictor World Matchplay in Blackpool

Darren Webster defeated world champion Rob Cross      Picture: Christopher Dean/PDC
Darren Webster defeated world champion Rob Cross Picture: Christopher Dean/PDC

The shocks kept coming in the second round at last night’s PDC Bet Victor World Matchplay tournament in Blackpool.

James Wade crashed out to Simon Whitlock but the big upset of the night was world champion Rob Cross’s 11-8 defeat to Darren Webster.

Webster seized the initiative in the second half of the contest, taking out 20 to take a 7-5 lead.

That break of throw turned out to be the crucial moment in the match as Webster stood firm to hold throw four times despite Cross’ best efforts.

Webster found double eight with his last dart in hand to seal a huge win, sparking huge celebrations from the Norfolk man who will face Mensur Suljovic in the last eight.

“I really enjoyed that win, it’s a great feeling to beat the World Champion,” said Webster, who reached the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Championship.

“When you get involved in a scrap you have to dig in and win it. I know I’m good enough to beat the best players and now I’m showing it.

“I’ve got the chance of a lifetime to push into the top 10 and now I want to keep winning and keep pushing my way up.

“I’m playing the best darts of my life in terms of results but I’ve still got an extra 20% of my practice game to bring to the big stage.

“I didn’t used to like playing against Mensur but I enjoy it now so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into that game.”

Whitlock’s 11-7 win over Wade in the opening game of the evening guaranteed a new name on the trophy this year.

Whitlock, a two-time Winter Gardens semi-finalist said: “I feel really relaxed on the stage this year, I’m enjoying playing up there.

“The last time I got to the semis here was in 2014 and I actually feel like I’m playing better now than I was then.”

Suljovic edged out Ian White 11-8 in a tense affair to reach the quarter-finals for the third time in four years. The world No.6 took a 3-0 lead but White clawed his way back into the contest to trail 9-8.

Suljovic found double nine at the third attempt to break straight back before pinning his favourite double 14 in the following leg to book his place in the last eight.

Paeter Wright steamrolled Kim Huybrechts 11-5 in the final match of the night.