Rob Cross defeated Ryan Searle 5-2 to seal a spot in the PDC Grand Slam of Darts second round.
An identical victory over Mark McGeeney and a narrow defeat of Dimitri van den Bergh secured top spot in Group H. Now Cross moves on to the knockouts, and a tricky tie with Mensur Suljovic. Looking back on the win over Searle, Cross admitted that he wasn’t at his best. The PDC world champion will need to step it up to take the Grand Slam crown.
In a video posted on his own Twitter page, the Hastings ace said: “It was sort of second gear tonight. “Ryan (Searle) – he started so slowly. He’s new to the TV, and it still learning. He’s a great player on the floor, if he brings that up there he can be dangerous.
“But just a little bit of a slow start tonight, and I’ve managed to breeze through a bit early in the game.”
Cross was rarely troubled, but brought out his best as soon as Searle threatened any sort of comeback. “Had the 12 (darter) later on after he’d won a leg, and that was good. It was steady – could have been a lot worse!” he added.
Starting with Suljovic, Cross now has a tricky route to Grand Slam glory. Reacting to the pressure calmly is his recipe for finding his A-game.
“I’ll just be nice and chilled. When that pressure’s on, I think it’s going to come out. I’m feeling great in myself, and if someone pushes that button I’ve got the answers.” Cross confirmed that he would be straight back on the practice board to gear up for Wednesday’s meeting with the world number six.
The prize fund breakdown for this tournament can be found here. Click here for more information about the Grand Slam of Darts.
Author: Ed McCosh