Former world champion Rob Cross returned to darts after a family bereavement to win Group 21 of the PDC Home Tour in thrilling style.
The 29-year-old has been left “heartbroken” by the death of his grandfather to coronavirus, with the funeral taking place on Monday, but he stayed professional and produced a superb comeback in the group decider against Karel Sedlacek.
Having beaten William Borland and Dimitri Van Den Bergh it came down to the last game against the Czech, who raced into a 4-0 lead and looked to be coasting into the next round.
But Cross, who had been well below his best all evening and needed four legs in the decider to top the group, reeled off five in a row to claim a 5-4 win.
He said: “On the darts front I am disappointed with the way I played tonight.
“On the other stuff, life is hard at the minute and I miss the old boy like anything but at the same time we have a job to do, and he would have wanted me to do well.
“I got through tonight, we can count our chickens and carry on moving on and I promise I will be better next time.”
Cross opened the night with a comprehensive win against Borland and it looked like his victory over Van Den Bergh, who is spending lockdown in East Anglia with current world champion Peter Wright, would be the defining one of the night.
But world number 124 Sedlacek had grand ideas of an upset and put himself within a leg of the next round, only for Cross to show his quality.