At last year’s World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, Rob Cross shocked the darting universe, beating Phil Taylor in the final to win the Sid Waddell trophy in his first ever world’s.
This year though, the former electrician was the one on the receiving end of a shock as he was defeated by the number 90 in the world Luke Humphries in a titanic battle at the Alexandra Palace on Friday night.
The tournament has already seen its fair share of shocks with the likes Peter Wright and Raymond Van Barneveld exciting the competition in the early stages.
LUKE HUMPHRIES BEATS ROB CROSS
A huge shock at the Ally Pally as Luke Humphries comes from two sets down to beat reigning champion Rob Cross.
— Sky Sports Darts (@SkySportsDarts) December 28, 2018
Cross began the last 16 tie impressively winning the opening two sets, but his opponent Humphries found his groove and with the darts at 2-2 in the sixth set, hit double seven to book his place in the last eight of the competition.
“I’m disappointed,” Cross said. “I didn’t feel like I played. I felt a bit fatigued. Fair play to Luke, he played well.
“I don’t think my scoring was great all the way through to be honest.
“This is going to hurt and I will bounce back.”
Humphries will now face another tough test as he meets the tenth seed Michael Smith in the quarter-finals and speaking after his victory the 23-year old outlined that Cross’ heroics of last year can be used for inspiration as he looks to continue upsetting the odds.
“I felt like I should have been 1-1 but I said to myself, ‘If you want to be world champion you cannot give up’,” said Humphries.
“It’s all about the fight back. I’m hugely proud of myself.
“People don’t think I can win this but I take inspiration from Rob – I can win this.”