Cross beats Humphries to land second European Tour darts crown

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Rob Cross defeated world number one Luke Humphries in a thrilling final to clinch his second European Tour darts title.

The 2018 world champion from St Leonards beat the reigning world champion 8-6 to win the Baltic Sea Open in the German city of Kiel on Sunday night.

Humphries produced a perfect nine-dart leg to take a 5-3 lead, but Cross claimed five of the subsequent six legs to prevail in the 10th European Tour final of his career.

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He said: "To hit back-to-back 12-darters to win was great and I'm happy that I've won something - it's been a while. It's an amazing experience to come up and win something again.

Rob Cross (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)Rob Cross (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Rob Cross (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

"I've got a new regime at the minute and it's working. I feel much better, much fresher in the longer days and long may it continue."

Cross averaged 105.56, hit five 180s, had a checkout percentage of 47.1% and landed a 100 outshot to seal victory in a high-quality final. Humphries, incidentally, averaged 104.38.

"Me and Luke always have good games and I really enjoyed it," added Cross, who is back up to fifth in the world rankings. "He's number one for a reason - he's the best player on the planet."

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Earlier in the evening, Cross averaged 99 and pulled off finishes of 156 and 126 to overcome Latvian thrower Madars Razma 7-4 in the semi-finals.

That followed a narrow 6-5 quarter-final win over fellow local player Ritchie Edhouse, who led 5-3 with the help of two ton-plus checkouts before Cross bagged the last three legs.

Cross also needed a deciding leg to come through a tough last-16 tie against world number 16 Stephen Bunting on Sunday afternoon, despite averaging 103.21.

The 33-year-old, nicknamed Voltage, began his run to glory with another terrific performance on Saturday afternoon, averaging 102.59 to see off Maik Kuivenhoven 6-2 in round two.

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Meanwhile, Edhouse claimed two top-10 scalps as he continued the excellent form he's shown over the past few months.

Having again come through the qualifiers, the 41-year-old stunned World Matchplay champion and world number four Nathan Aspinall 6-2 in round one on Friday with a 106.46 average.

Edhouse, who is up to 48th in the rankings, then clinched the final two legs to edge past 10th-ranked Welsh thrower Jonny Clayton 6-5 in round two on Saturday.

A 6-3 third-round victory against Germany's Ricardo Pietreczko on Sunday afternoon put Edhouse through to his second European Tour quarter-final of the year.

And he was only a leg away from a third consecutive success against eventual champion Cross.

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