Rob Cross suffers first-round defeat in defence of European Championship crown

Rob Cross saw the defence of his European Championship title end at the first hurdle after he was knocked out by James Wade in Dortmund.

Cross became the fourth successive defending champion to exit in the first round at this tournament after losing the deciding leg and going down to a 6-5 defeat.

He will have nightmares about the two match darts he had on double 20 in the deciding leg as the second round was in his grasp, but he was off target and Wade pounced.

Wade, the 2018 champion, had already missed three match darts as both players endured a tough night on the doubles, but eventually got the job done at the sixth attempt, finishing with a double one.

Josh Rock announced himself on the big stage with a standout win over ninth seed Nathan Aspinall.

The 21-year-old Northern Irishman, who was working in a chicken factory this time last year, showed nerves of steel in the final-leg decider to earn his first televised victory.

Luke Humphries, who has earned top-seed status based on his performances on the European Tour where he has won four titles, was able to get through despite not having his usual darts.

Humphries left his regular flights back at home and had to make use of a fresh set, but he was still too good for Krzysztof Ratajski, winning 6-4.

World number four Michael Smith was not at his best but did what he needed to beat Karel Sedlacek 6-4.

There were also wins for Dirk van Duijvenbode, Ryan Searle, Danny Noppert and Vincent van der Voort.