ROBERT THORNTON 2 – 4 Adrian Lewis

Robert Thornton produced a magnificent performance to give Adrian Lewis a major scare, but the width of the wire prevented him from taking the defending world champion to a deciding set.

Thornton pushed his opponent all the way with consistent high scoring and Lewis will have breathed a sigh of relief when The Thorn just missed his double in the final leg.

Thornton gave himself a chance to break the Lewis throw in the very first leg, but missed a dart at double top before his opponent hit double four. The Scotsman hit his first 180 in the second leg but Lewis took that one and the next to win the opening set.

The Thorn took out 78 to get off the mark in set two. He opened the next leg with his second maximum and took out 80 to break the Lewis throw. The world number two then hit the first 170 finish of the tournament to break straight back before holding his throw to level the set. Thornton hit another maximum when throwing for the set and took out 60 to make it a set apiece.

Jackpot held his throw at the start of set three before Thornton took out 68 to do the same. Lewis held again and then broke the throw. The Thorn had been unlucky not to take the set to a decider when he just missed the bull for a stunning 161 finish.

Thornton hit double top at the first time of asking to edge in front in the fourth set. He then produced a brilliant eleven dart leg against the World Champion’s throw. The Thorn then hit double sixteen to secure a third consecutive leg, levelling the match at two sets all.

Lewis went in front by holding his throw to kick off set five. Thornton was unlucky not to level when he hit the wrong bed, allowing Lewis to break. Jackpot went a set ahead when he won the next leg meaning Thornton needed to win the next set to stay alive.

The Scotsman started the sixth set well, holding the throw with a nice 139 set up before hitting double top. Back to back 140’s helped him put Jackpot’s throw under pressure, and he got the break in style by finishing on the bull for a 121 checkout. Lewis managed to break straight back and then held to leave Thornton throwing to keep himself in the match. Both players opened with back to back 140s and the Thorn almost forced a decider but just missed double fourteen before Lewis hit double five to progress.

Thornton had been gaining momentum in the game and would have had every chance of springing an upset if that dart had landed on the right side of the wire. He leaves the tournament knowing he gave the world champion a very tough test.


By Chris Murphy

Play the Pro