Summer Series 4: In-Depth.

James Wade picked up the Players Championship 12 title on Saturday beating 9-Dart star Rob Cross 8-2 in the decider on the penultimate day of the Summer Series.

Wade, who picked up five Pro Tour Titles last year, began the day with a (6-0) whitewash win over Mike Van Duijvenbode with a 102.5 average before wins over Harald Leitinger and Jeffrey De Zwaan saw him book a spot in the Last 16.

At that stage, he took on Premier League star Nathan Aspinall with both averaging near 103 but Wade came out the 6-4 victor. In the Quarter Finals, he took on Michael Smith, a player who he had beat 16 times in the past 21 meetings, and he demolished him (6-0) with a 98 average to send the Bully Boy packing and book a spot in the Semi Finals.

At that stage, he took on Ian White, the player who beat him in the PC8 final just before the lockdown and Wade got revenge by seeing him off (7-4) and booking a spot in the final against Cross. 

In the final, the match began with five straight holds of throw before Wade broke Cross’ throw with a 108 checkout to move (4-2) ahead and from there on in, there was no way back for Cross as Wade won foir legs on the spin with winning legs in 13,15,17 and 15 darts respectively including a 156 checkout to pick up his 1st title of 2020. 

Cross, who was yet to have a big run in the Summer Series, began the day with convincing wins over Jitse Van der Wal and Lisa Ashton before a trio of (6-5) wins over Danny Noppert, Callan Rydz and Jamie Hughes to reach the Semi Finals. At that stage, he took on Mensur Suljovic which was the game he fired in the perfect leg. 180-180-141 on Double 36 sealed it for Cross and his 3rd PDC Nine Darter- 2nd since winning his Tour Card in 2017. He secured the win (7-2) with a 110.1 average to book his spot in the final against Wade. 

Unable to pick up the title, but a good run going into the final day and into his Betfred World Matchplay defence later this month.

Quarter Final runs for Daryl Gurney and Krzysztof Ratajski as well as a good run for Robert Thornton, who reached the Last 16 for the first time this year. Hong Kong’s Kai Fan Leung also improved to reach the Last 16.

Early exits for PC9 and PC11 winner Michael Van Gerwen as well as World Champions in Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis. The day also saw Justin Pipe having to withdraw due to an arm injury. 

The Summer Series will conclude on Sunday with the final event taking place, Players Championship 13. It is also the final event for players hoping to secure a spot at the Betfred World Matchplay later this month. 

Players Championship 12

Last 16 

Rob Cross 6-5 Callan Rydz

Jamie Hughes 6-1 Jason Lowe

Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Kai Fan Leung

Daryl Gurney 6-4 Robert Thornton

Michael Smith 6-4 Peter Wright

James Wade 6-4 Nathan Aspinall

Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Jose De Sousa

Ian White 6-4 Glen Durrant

Quarter Finals

Rob Cross 6-5 Jamie Hughes

Mensur Suljovic 6-4 Daryl Gurney

James Wade 6-0 Michael Smith

Ian White 6-1 Krzysztof Ratajski 

Semi Finals

Rob Cross 7-2 Mensur Suljovic 

James Wade 7-4 Ian White

Final 

James Wade 8-2 Rob Cross


Pix: Taylor Lanning.