ROB CROSS produced a stunning comeback to defeat Cristo Reyes 6-5 in the second round of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy on Saturday.
Spanish star Reyes raced into a 3-0 lead, including an impressive 12-dart leg, before reigning World Champion Cross pulled one back.
Reyes went into a commanding 4-1 lead, only for Cross to respond with a 12-darter of his own to keep himself in the contest.
The Spanish World Cup ace went within a leg of victory at 5-2, and then kicked off the eight leg with a 180, before Cross rallied to rattle off the final four legs and seal his place in the final day of action.
“I made it difficult for myself but I’m just glad to get the win,” said Cross.
“I’ve been feeling good and playing well but it hasn’t always shown on stage recently, but hopefully now I can start producing my best stuff.
“I want to win my first European Tour title this weekend and I know I’ve got the game to do it, I’ve proved it before and I can do it again.”
Cross will meet Simon Whitlock in the last 16 after the Australian recorded a comfortable 6-1 win over Adam Huckvale.
The second day of action at the Victoria Stadium also saw Adrian Lewis continue his up-turn in form with a 6-3 win over sixth seed Mensur Suljovic.
Two-time World Champion Lewis hit four 180s and a 122 checkout en route to a convincing victory to set up a clash with old foe James Wade.
Wade survived a scare earlier in the day as he won the final three legs of his game with Ross Smith to stay in the tournament, despite missing 17 darts at double over the course of the match.
A rejuvenated Paul Nicholson maintained his solid 2018 form as he battled to a 6-4 win over Dave Chisnall to make the final day of European Tour action for a second successive event where he will face Joe Cullen.
Cullen hit a stunning 107.97 average as he cruised past Darius Labanauskas 6-1 to get the evening session off to a flying start.
Rapid-firing Dutch star Jermaine Wattimena dumped last year’s Gibraltar Darts Trophy champion Michael Smith out of the tournament with an impressive 6-5 win, and he will now face Gerwyn Price.
Price wrapped up a 6-2 win over Belgian youngster Mike De Decker, while fellow-Welshman Jonny Clayton breezed through with a 6-0 win over Hannes Schnier and he will now meet German star Max Hopp, who was in fine form in his 6-4 win over Ian White.
World number one Michael van Gerwen hit a 107.86 average against close friend Vincent van der Voort, and he will now play Andy Boulton who saw off Stephen Bunting 6-4.
Daryl Gurney was victorious in the battle of the Northern Ireland World Cup of Darts stars, defeating Brendan Dolan 6-4 and he will face Steve West after he edged past Darren Webster 6-5.
Peter Wright rounded off the day’s action with a 6-2 win over Challenge Tour Order of Merit leader Michael Barnard, and the Scot will meet Chris Dobey who posted a 6-3 triumph over Mervyn King.
Sunday will see the conclusion of the tournament, with eight round three games in the afternoon session, followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening.
The Gibraltar Darts Trophy will be broadcast throughout the weekend for PDCTV-HD Subscribers, and through a series of bookmakers’ websites worldwide.
2018 Gibraltar Darts Trophy
Saturday June 9
Andy Boulton 6-4 Stephen Bunting
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Mike De Decker
Steve West 6-5 Darren Webster
James Wade 6-5 Ross Smith
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Adam Huckvale
Jonny Clayton 6-0 Hannes Schnier
Max Hopp 6-4 Ian White
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Joe Cullen 6-1 Darius Labanauskas
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Michael Smith
Rob Cross 6-5 Cristo Reyes
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Paul Nicholson 6-4 Dave Chisnall
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Mensur Suljovic
Chris Dobey 6-3 Mervyn King
Peter Wright 6-2 Michael Barnard
Sunday June 10
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)
Michael van Gerwen v Andy Boulton
Jonny Clayton v Max Hopp
Daryl Gurney v Steve West
Rob Cross v Simon Whitlock
Jermaine Wattimena v Gerwyn Price
Joe Cullen v Paul Nicholson
Adrian Lewis v James Wade
Peter Wright v Chris Dobey
Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)
Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order
Format – All games up to and including the quarter-finals are the best of 11 legs, with the semi-finals the best of 13 legs and the final the best of 15 legs.
Written by Josh Phillips (PDC)