Champion Rob Cross is out of the World Darts Championship
They say a bad winner makes a worse loser and the opposite is true too.
A classy winner makes a gracious loser and Rob Cross did himself and the sport proud on Friday night despite being dumped out of the World Darts Championship in the round of 16.
The 2018 champion who stunned the world by beating Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor last winter has been knocked out before the quarter-final stage during his defence and he has the mighty Luke Humphries to curse for it.
Cross found it in him to raise his victor's hand though.
On a day that James Wade demonstrated three further acts of disrespect at the oche as he was put out too, Cross held his class and congratulated the new kid on the block before exiting stage left with his head held high.
Luke Humphries is just 23 years of age and already has the scalp of a world champion and now a last eight in his arrow strap and he claimed this almighty triumph in the face of great adversity.
At two sets to nothing down, the writing was on the wall for the inexperienced Englishman but he wasn't interested in reading it as he displayed a cool hand and a calm head to fire off game-changing shots four sets in a row to take them all consecutively and beat Cross 4-2 in the end.
It was the first time Cross lost in this PDC championship and it's fitting it was to a young man who's best PDC performance before tonight was reaching the last 64 in the UK Open.
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 28, 2018
He goes through now to face compatriot Michael Smith in the quarter-final on Saturday and the winner of that could meet Fermanagh man Brendan Dolan in the semi-final if he can beat Nathan Aspinall, but he did struggle to really turn it on in his own last 16 match.
The news of Cross' elimination joins the giant-killing feats for this year's tournament but it won't have gone unnoticed in the half of the finals without Michael van Gerwen and now with just one seeded player. Neither Humphries, Aspinall or Dolan came into the tournament seeded in the top 32 but, with eight competitors left, 28 of those seeded hopefuls have fallen.