Darts: Robert Thornton turns on style for home fans

ROBERT Thornton ensured ­McCoy’s Premier League Darts survival with a stunning 7-1 rout of Simon Whitlock in Glasgow last night, as Adrian Lewis kept alive his hopes of avoiding relegation with victory over Andy Hamilton.

Scottish star Thornton delighted his home crowd at the SECC in Glasgow with one of his finest televised performances, averaging 107.65 as he moved on to nine points in the Premier League table. But there was disappointment for the other home favourite as Gary Anderson was beaten 7-5 in his relegation battle with Wes Newton.

Thornton’s achievement means that he cannot now be relegated after next week’s Judgment Night in Brighton, but Thornton is setting his sights higher after a stunning display.

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The Scot won the first four legs without reply in front of his home fans – hitting 180s in the first three and a 157 checkout in the process.

Whitlock took out 114 to hit back, but Thornton landed a maximum in moving 5-1 up, a 121 finish to pull clear and double 12 to seal the win.

“To be safe from relegation and to play in front of a crowd like this makes everything worthwhile – it was amazing,” said Ayrshire’s Thornton. “It’s brilliant, one of the most memorable nights I’ve ever had.

“I wanted to go up there and not let the Scottish fans down, so it’s great to play so well because he’s such a good player. I was pretty focused and I’m chuffed to bits with how I played. I’ve got loads of family and friends and it’s the first time my mum’s seen me play live, so I’m very proud.”

Earlier, two-time World Champion Lewis boosted his own hopes of avoiding relegation with a 7-4 win over Andy Hamilton.

Lewis had lost his first four games, but is now unbeaten in his past four matches, as he came from 2-0 down to claim a fine win – which featured a key 124 bullseye finish in the ­penultimate leg.

The blockbuster clash between Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld turned out to be a one-sided affair as The Power went joint-top of the McCoy’s Premier League Darts table with a comfortable 7-3 victory.

In the final match of the night, James Wade defeated Michael Van Gerwen 7-4.