Rob Cross emerged victorious in a thrilling final at the Interwetten European Darts Grand Prix in Sindelfingen, securing his first-ever European Tour title. The match concluded with a dramatic 8-6 win over Luke Humphries in the showpiece event.
Cross’s Long-Awaited Triumph Rob Cross, a two-time European Champion, had faced defeat in each of his previous seven European Tour finals. However, he finally broke his streak and clinched the top prize of £30,000 at the Glaspalast. The victory was significant for Cross, as he had previously lost to Humphries in three European Tour finals in 2022, including last year’s European Darts Grand Prix.
World Cup of Darts Implications The final between Cross and Humphries also determined who would represent England alongside Michael Smith at the upcoming World Cup of Darts. Cross held a £17,500 lead over Humphries on the PDC Order of Merit, meaning Humphries needed to retain the title to secure a spot in the Pairs event. However, Cross delivered a clinical performance and emerged as the champion, securing his second title in just eight days.
Cross’s Comments Expressing his joy, Cross stated, “I’m just so glad that I’ve won a European Tour title. I’ve been striving to win one of these for six years.” He added that he had been playing well lately and was in a great place both in terms of his darts performance and personal happiness. Cross acknowledged Humphries’ talent and commiserated with him for missing out on the World Cup spot.
Cross’s Journey to Victory Cross started Finals Day with a 6-3 win over Ross Montgomery. He then proceeded to defeat Krzysztof Ratajski, showcasing his skill with two ton-plus finishes. In the semi-finals, Cross faced Ross Smith, another European Champion, and won with an average of 101, securing a 7-4 victory and setting up the thrilling showdown against Humphries.
The Final Showdown The first four legs of the final went with throw, but Cross broke the pattern with a remarkable ten-dart break in the fifth leg. Humphries responded with an instant two-dart 86 combination for a break in the sixth leg. However, Cross regained the lead in the ninth leg with a clinical 100 finish. In a crucial tenth leg, Humphries missed three darts at double to level the score at 5-5, allowing Cross to extend his lead to 6-4. Despite Humphries’ efforts to stay in the game with 11 and 13-dart holds, Cross sealed the victory with a composed 72 finish on double 18, securing an 8-6 triumph.
Humphries’ Determination Humphries expressed his disappointment after the match, stating, “It hurts. I’m devastated, but I will bounce back.” He regarded the defeat as one of the toughest in his career, emphasizing his strong desire to represent England. Humphries acknowledged Cross’s excellent performance and congratulated him on his victory.
Other Noteworthy Performances Humphries began the day with a 6-2 victory over Raymond van Barneveld and continued his strong form with a 109 average to defeat Gian van Veen in a thrilling quarter-final match. He secured a hard-fought 7-5 win over Damon Heta in the semi-finals to reach yet another important final. Heta, the World Cup winner from Australia, had his own impressive run, winning deciding-leg matches against Joe Cullen and Martin Schindler to reach the semi-finals.