Luke Humphries adds Grand Slam of Darts title to World Grand Prix success after defeating Rob Cross 16-8; Watch the World Darts Championship from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports
Last Updated: 19/11/23 8:58pm
Luke Humphries won his second major title in as many months after he raced to Grand Slam of Darts victory against Rob Cross in Wolverhampton on Sunday night.
Humphries won his maiden PDC Premier ranking title at October’s World Grand Prix, and claimed the Eric Bristow Trophy as Grand Slam champion to crown a wonderful week at WV Active Aldersley.
Humphries produced another unstoppable display to claim the £150,000 top prize, defying an early 170 checkout from Cross to pull away for a glorious 16-8 triumph.
Grand Slam of Darts: Sunday’s Final
|Luke Humphries||16-8||Rob Cross|
“To pick up two TV titles is fantastic – I don’t believe it,” smiled Humphries. “It feels just as good – obviously nothing can ever beat the first one but the second one does feel as good, especially the way I’ve played again there.
“It was a long, gruelling slog today but I think we put on a good show. It was a really tough game but I think we both played really well.
“It was a contrast from the semi-final to the final. I probably played much, much better and I played pretty much how I did throughout the tournament.
“Rob was absolutely fantastic, he didn’t give me a leg and I had to work for every leg. He’s another great of our generation, a World Champion and I respect him a lot.
“This week I’ve beaten some great, great players who I’ve looked up to over the years – Gary, James and Rob. I’m very blessed and happy to be a two-time major champion.”
Humphries took the final’s opening two legs as he followed a 14-darter with a 12-dart leg, only for Cross to fire in a tremendous 170 checkout to get himself off the mark.
The Hastings ace levelled in leg four, but Humphries then pulled clear in a relentless five-leg burst – punishing three misses from Cross in leg six and landing a 144 checkout to move 7-2 up.
Two missed doubles in leg ten allowed Cross to respond, but Humphries followed legs of 14 and 13 darts with double ten to open up a 10-3 cushion.
A 90 finish for another 12-darter from Cross was bettered by an 11-dart leg as Humphries restored a seven-leg gap, before he followed up a 104 checkout with a 13-dart leg to move three legs away from glory.
Cross fired in his fifth leg of the game with an 11-darter, and though Humphries’ charge continued with double 18 for a 13-darter, double eight and an 11-dart break of throw kept the 2018 World Champion in the hunt at 14-7.
Another 12-darter moved Humphries to the brink of the title, and though Cross punished a missed bullseye with double nine, the reprieve was only temporary as a 91 checkout sealed a stunning Grand Slam success.
“The best man won on the night, no doubt about it – he was fantastic,” said Cross, who claimed £70,000 as runner-up.
“It’s a little bit hurtful to lose but he was excellent tonight. I’ve had a good week and I’ll come back.”
How Humphries and Cross reached Sunday’s final…
World Grand Prix champion Humphries managed to grind down three-time Grand Slam finalist James Wade in Sunday afternoon’s first semi-final, winning 16-10 to move a step closer to another major title.
“We weren’t at our best. It felt really hard work. If you keep giving James chances, he’ll put you to bed. I’m really happy I didn’t let him come back at me,” said the 28-year-old Newbury thrower.
Humphries averaged 95.80, hitting six 180s as well as taking out checkouts of 142 and a ton, but he missed a total of 36 darts at double in an error-strewn win.
Cross made it through to his maiden Grand Slam final with a hard-fought 16-13 victory against a tenacious Bunting.
The 2018 World Champion averaged 95.90, hitting 127, 110 and 108 checkouts with 42 per cent on doubles.
“I know I’m going to sound miserable but I’m still not happy with my performance,” said Cross. “I’m glad that double three got me over the line because it was getting twitchy.”
Grand Slam of Darts: Sunday’s semi-finals
|James Wade||10-16||Luke Humphries|
|Stephen Bunting||13-16||Rob Cross|
When are the World Championships?
The sport’s biggest event will be held from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 as 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace.
You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.