Rob Cross defeats Michael van Gerwen to end title drought at European Championship | Darts News


Rob Cross pockets the £120,000 winner’s prize after European Championship victory over Michael van Gerwen, which sees him move back up to 11th on the PDC Order of Merit, having faced the possibility of dropping out of the world’s top 16 prior to the event

Last Updated: 18/10/21 7:17am

Rob Cross ended his two-year wait for a PDC title in Salzburg with victory over Michael van Gerwen

Rob Cross ended his two-year wait for a PDC title in Salzburg with victory over Michael van Gerwen

Rob Cross ended his two-year wait for a PDC title, defeating Michael van Gerwen to win the European Championship for a second time.

Cross claimed his fifth televised crown with an 11-8 victory over Van Gerwen in the final at the Salzburgarena, almost two years on from his last TV title win – which came in the same event.

Four-time European Champion Van Gerwen was on the charge for a fifth success in the event after picking up stunning victories over Gerwyn Price and Nathan Aspinall earlier in the day, but was let down by 27 missed double attempts in an edgy final.

“It’s nice to win again after the last 18 months, which has probably been the hardest time of my life,” revealed Cross, who also defeated Jose de Sousa and Joe Cullen en route to the final.

“I have to dedicate this to my family, friends, management and sponsors who have stood by me and been incredibly supportive.

“I love playing in Austria, I’ve got a great record here. I love the people, I’d play here every week if I could.

“Granted, I didn’t play my best tonight, and I’m thankful that Michael wasn’t himself in the final. You have to take chances when they are presented to you.”

The win also secures Cross’ place in November’s Grand Slam of Darts, with the 31-year-old looking forward to a busy end to 2021.

Cross added: “I think this is going to be a turning point for me, with the confidence it’s going to give me I know I’m going to get better over the next few months. I would love to win another World Championship.”

Van Gerwen was seeking a first ranking title since November 2020 and a first European Championship success since 2017.

Despite coming up short in the final, the Dutchman showed signs of a return to his best with averages of 107.74 against Price in the quarter-finals and 103.41 against Aspinall in the semi-finals.

“When you play like I did in the final then you deserve to lose,” Van Gerwen declared in an honest assessment.

“You can find a million excuses but I have to say I didn’t show up in the final, it wasn’t good enough and I can only blame myself.

“I am starting to perform a little bit better – except for the final – but I don’t like picking up runner-up trophies. It doesn’t count for anything, I’m a winner.”

2021 European Championship

Sunday October 17
Afternoon Session
Quarter-Finals
Nathan Aspinall 10-9 Danny Noppert
Michael van Gerwen 10-8 Gerwyn Price
Rob Cross 10-5 Jose de Sousa
Joe Cullen 10-7 Mensur Suljovic

Evening Session
Semi-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 11-10 Nathan Aspinall
Rob Cross 11-3 Joe Cullen

Final
Rob Cross 11-8 Michael van Gerwen

Join us for live coverage of the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton next month. Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts





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