It can happen to the best of them.
Most of us aren't strangers to a darts shot going awry and completely missing the board. But for the professionals it's somewhat more of a rare occurrence.
Sadly the unfortunate fate fell open former world champion Rob Cross on Sunday as he suffered embarrassment at the oche on his way to a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Gerwyn Price in the quarter-finals of the Players Championship 18.
Cross – who won the 2018 world championships on his first attempt – was already 2-0 down after failing to finish off a 79 checkout in the second leg. He then dropped a clanger in the third as he missed the board with his final dart as he aimed for treble 19 after already hitting two treble 20s.
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The commentator couldn't believe his eyes at Cross' miss, declaring: "Well that one slipped – it missed the reel! I think that one might be for the blooper reel and Rob is just a little embarrassed."
Cross did see the funny side, though, as he and Price both shared a laugh at his expense for the unexpected gaffe. Price was in no mood for jokes, however, as he ruthlessly put his opponent to the sword.
The 'Ice Man' capitalised on his way to nailing four 14-dart legs in succession to open up a 5-0 lead over Cross, before sealing his whitewash victory to march into the semis. He then comfortably dispatched of Stephen Bunting 7-2 in the next round, before beating Gian van Veen 8-1 in the final.
Despite his victory, a modest Price suggested he was lucky after failing to bring his A-game to Hildesheim. “My game wasn’t the best apart from a couple of games at the end," he said. "I was scoring well all day, missing loads of doubles but getting away with it.
“I would rather play really well, even if I lose sometimes. Scraping games doesn’t give you that much confidence, but winning is what matters.
“If I’m winning tournaments when I’m playing my C-game, when my A-game comes out, hopefully that’s good enough as well, because some people turn me over when I’m playing my best!
“When there are ranking points at stake, it means a little bit more, and luck was on my side this weekend.”
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