Corey Cadby clinched his first senior PDC title after producing an astonishing comeback from 4-1 down to defeat world champion Rob Cross in the final of UK Open qualifier five, on another stunning day of darts in Wigan.
Cadby burst on to the darting scene by winning the PDC World Youth Championship title in 2016 and has also triumphed on the Development Tour circuit. However, the 22-year-old produced some sublime darts to claim his first senior PDC title, having only secured his Tour Card at last month’s Q-School.
The Australian looked as if he was going to be overpowered by world champion Cross- who continued his return to form in Wigan. Nevertheless, trailing 4-1, Cadby reeled off five consecutive legs in 11, 13, 12, 16 and 12 darts to triumph with an incredible 108.67 average, as ‘Voltage’ was beaten despite averaging 102.67.
Cross drew first blood in the final; dispatching an 88 checkout for a 15-dart break. He then doubled his tally with a 14-darter, before Cadby opened his account with a 13-dart hold on tops. The Aussie wired the bullseye for a 164 finish just moments later, as ‘Voltage’ restored his two-leg cushion with a nerveless 85 outshot.
The world champion then followed up his first maximum with a clinical two-dart 96 combination for an 11-dart break to lead 4-1, and he appeared destined to close out victory. Nevertheless, Cadby fought back magnificently.
The former World Youth champion followed up his second maximum with an 11-darter of his own to reduce the arrears to 4-2, before closing to within a leg of Cross after rounding-off a 13-dart leg via D10. ‘Voltage’ then missed the bull for an exhibition 125 checkout, but he was severely punished by the rampant Australian.
Cadby produced an inspired 161 finish to level proceedings inside 12 darts, before completing a 16-dart hold to win his fourth straight leg and move within a leg of victory. Cross was shell-shocked, but ‘The King’ displayed no finishing line nerves; following up his third 180 with a sensational 134 checkout to wrap up the win with another 12-darter.
Cadby had kicked off his campaign by whitewashing three-time world champion John Part 6-0; averaging 104.90 in the process. The former World Youth champion then survived two match darts to edge out Benito van de Pas in a dramatic last-leg decider, before defeating yesterday’s semi-finalist Jason Lowe 6-3 to reach the last 32.
‘The King’ produced a sublime performance to defeat Darren Johnson 6-3, averaging 107.30 and firing in back-to-back maximums in successive legs. Cadby then cruised past his fellow countryman Simon Whitlock, before defeating in-form Michael Smith in a quality contest; defying an incredible 108.20 average from ‘Bully-Boy’ to prevail 6-4.
This set up a semi-final showdown against his stablemate Kim Huybrechts, who defeated John Goldie, Boris Koltsov, Jamie Lewis, Mervyn King and Vincent Kamphuis to reach the last four. However, ‘The Hurricane’ was blown away by the rampant Aussie, who averaged 102 and fired in four maximums to triumph 6-1 and book his place in the final.
Whilst Cross was denied his first Pro Tour crown of 2018, the former electrician silenced the doubters once more in Wigan. He kicked off Saturday’s proceedings with an unbelievable 6-2 win over Jan Dekker- averaging 117.99 to Dekker’s 112.16, with Cross’ winning legs coming in 12, 10, 12, 15, 13 and 11 darts.
The 27-year-old averaged 102.26 to defeat Nicholas Bell 6-4, before edging out Stefan Nilles in a scrappy last-leg decider to book his spot in the last 16. ‘Voltage’ then defeated Chris Dobey 6-3 after averaging an impressive 103.74, before firing in three ton-plus checkouts to defeat Steve West in the quarter-finals and seal his place in the last four.
Cross took on a Scot in the semi-finals once again, as he faced world number two Peter Wright. ‘Snakebite’ defeated Michael Barnard, Simon Stevenson, Ian White, Justin Pipe and Jelle Klaasen to reach the last four, but Cross came out on top in a thrilling tussle; averaging 103.35 and converting a stunning 156 kill to run out a 6-4 winner.
Nevertheless, there were a number of high-profile stars condemned to early exits at the Robin Park Tennis Centre. Friday’s winner Gary Anderson was dumped out at the first hurdle by his protégé Adam Hunt, whilst Anderson’s fellow two-time world champion Adrian Lewis, lost at the same stage to World Masters champion Krzysztof Ratajski.
Benito van de Pas, Mark Webster, Joe Cullen and Cristo Reyes were other high-profile seeds to lose their opening matches, whilst incredibly, Jan Dekker went out in the last 256 once again; despite averaging over 112 for the second day in succession.
World number one Michael van Gerwen did not enter this weekend’s triple-header after winning two of the opening three events, whilst five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld was also absent, as he returned home to celebrate his daughter’s birthday having sealed his qualification on Friday.
The full list of results from today’s event can be viewed via the following link: https://www.pdc.tv/node/7675
Photo Credit: PhotoSport/PDC