JOHN Henderson’s World Darts Championship campaign was ended by Rob Cross as he was eventually beaten on the Alexandra Palace stage.
The Highlander from Huntly, had previously beaten world number four Daryl Gurney to reach the last 16. But quarter-final progression would prove a step too far for the 44-year-old.
Cross kicked off the match with a maximum, a pattern that continued throughout the contest. Despite a bullseye checkout from Hendo, the Alexandra Palace debutant claimed the first set 3-1.
Henderson got his nose ahead in set two with a 109 checkout, but Cross would take the next two legs. Another ton plus finish from the Scotsman would put him on level terms, but three set darts would go begging in the following leg as Cross doubled his advantage.
Spectacular 136 and 125 finishes would put ‘The Highlander’ well on his way to redeeming himself, as Cross went off the boil. The Scot lifted his average to 98 as the deficit was halved.
Hendo’s momentum would continue as he rattled in another 180 and claimed the first leg of the fourth set. But Cross, who had endured a 15-minute slump, suddenly shook back into action. Some heavy scoring from the 27-year-old allowing him to reel off three legs on the spin and restore his lead.
‘Voltage’ added a further three legs as Henderson’s focus dropped. Dipping over the finish line, in another terrific performance on the Alexandra Palace stage.
Hendo’s performance at the world's most prestigious darts tournament will give him confidence going into 2018, with the UK Open being the first major tournament of the calendar year.