MX23RW : Sunday, January 20 01:16:53

World champion Rob Cross marches on at Ally Pally

World champion Rob Cross marches on at Ally Pally
© Reuters
The former electrician breezed into the last 16.

Defending champion Rob Cross moved a step closer to retaining his PDC World Darts Championship crown with a comprehensive win over Cristo Reyes.

The 28-year-old from Pembury reached the last 16 by demolishing his Spanish opponent 4-0, winning with an average of 101.72 and rattling in five 180s.

He told Sky Sports: “In fairness I thought I was slow out of the gates but I got the job done

“I feel brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Everyone wants to get past Christmas and then come back and win it.

“I’ll be practising every day. I didn’t slack last year and I won’t this year.”

Former double world champion Adrian Lewis also made short work of his third-round opponent, Darius Labanauskas.

Lewis, seeded 16th, took less than 35 minutes to see off the Lithuanian, who had previously knocked out Raymond Van Barneveld.

A 12-dart leg sealed the third set 3-1 and another 12-darter in the last leg of the fourth saw him take it 3-1 to seal a 4-0 win.

Lewis will face world number one Michael Van Gerwen in the fourth round.

Nathan Aspinall continued his dream debut run with a resounding victory over Australia’s Kyle Anderson.

Four 100-plus checkouts helped the 27-year-old from Stockport to a 4-1 victory.

Earlier, ninth seed James Wade produced a fine comeback to beat Keegan Brown 4-3.

Nathan Aspinall continued his fine debut at Ally Pally
Nathan Aspinall continued his fine debut at Ally Pally (John Walton/PA)

Englishman Wade had apologised for controversial post-match comments that he “wanted to really hurt” Japanese opponent Seigo Asada after his previous victory, blaming his actions on a “hypomanic episode”.

Despite enduring a hostile reception from large sections of the crowd and having found himself facing another stern test as Brown moved into a 3-1 lead, there was no repeat of any such outburst.

Wade eventually found his range to take the fifth set 3-0 and went on to progress in the decider against the player who had ended his world title hopes last year.

The 35-year-old from Aldershot will face the impressive Ryan Joyce for a quarter-final place.

Mervyn King was, though, another of the seeds to fall in round three, beaten 4-2 by Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan.

The number-19 seed, twice a semi-finalist, had battled back to level the match at 2-2 following a 14-dart finish.

However, Dolan responded to break King and take the fifth set on a decider before closing out victory with a 95.73 average, reaching the last 16 for the first time.

In Sunday’s early match, Chris Dobey battled through 4-3 against Vincent Van der Voort to set up a clash with Gary Anderson.


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