Cross stuns Taylor in world dart final
LONDON – Agence France-Presse
Debutant Rob Cross stunned 16-time world champion Phil Taylor in the World Championship final on Jan. 1.
Taylor had been aiming for a 17th world crown before retiring after the championships but Englishman Cross, 30 years his junior, beat him 7-2 at Alexandra Palace.
Cross, a former electrician who only turned professional at the start of 2017, hit a 167 to go 2-0 up and was soon three sets ahead.
Taylor, 57, burst into life when he took out 151 en route to whitewashing his opponent in the fourth and then almost hit the perfect leg at the start of the fifth.
But after he was denied double 12 for a nine-darter, Cross won that leg and moved to one set away from becoming world champion.
Taylor won 10 legs and had twelve 180s in the match, one more than Cross.
At the end, Taylor embraced his young conqueror and held up a sign saying “Thank you, thank you” as the crowd chanted his name.
After the two men embraced, Cross insisted Taylor lift the trophy.
“It’s been marvelous. I’ve had a fantastic career, [but with] the youngsters coming through I just can’t do it anymore,” Taylor said.
Cross said: “I feel great but it’s Phil’s last year and it’s about him departing. That’s why I let him lift the trophy.”