Cross defends “light-hearted gesture” in UK Open final

Aspinall and Cross pictured during the presentation (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Rob Cross has hit out after he was criticised for his behaviour during his defeat to Nathan Aspinall in the UK Open final on Sunday.

The 2018 World Champion received criticism from both pundits and fans after shaking hands with Aspinall prior to the end of the final.

Aspinall went on to complete a commanding 11-5 win to claim his first major title, sealing the deal in incredible fashion with a 170 checkout.

Cross, who averaged 84.8 in the final, has defended his conduct and told Live Darts: "I think people have misread far too much into what was actually just a light-hearted sporting gesture.

"Nathan was kicking my butt in the final and I was running on empty. So I just shook his hand and said ‘well done mate’!

"There was a bit of discussion about what I meant about having nothing left on the night. I just ran out of stamina to be honest.

"That's something I will take a long hard look at over the next few days. Those final days of a quarter, semi and final are very tiring.

"I've not done many of them over the three years I've been professional so I'm fairly inexperienced on how to pace myself during the day.

"I felt a bit flat for the semi and final but I plodded on and in the end just ran out of energy. Nathan's adrenaline carried him through although I think both of us were well below our best in the final."

Cross now faces Michael Smith in Unibet Premier League in Aberdeen on Thursday night - just days after beating him 11-7 in the Semi-Finals of the UK Open.

He added: "I'm enjoying my darts again and it shows. I think I'm proving a few people wrong that I wasn't a one World Championship fluke.

"I'm still nowhere near my A game but I'm getting results, I think that’s a good thing. 

"The likes of Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen have managed to keep winning without being at their best for years, If you can grind out wins and ugly victories it's a good sign.

"But fair play to Nathan on Sunday night, he did brilliantly and got a great result. He deserved it and I will go away and learn from it.

"Now I can't wait to get to Aberdeen and play Michael again - I hope he's fit again but he was suffering in Minehead with his leg injury. 

"The atmosphere in Scotland is always the best, so it should be a great first game on."


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Cross defends “light-hearted gesture” in UK Open final

Rob Cross has hit out after he was criticised for his behaviour during his defeat to Nathan Aspinall in the UK Open final on Sunday.

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