Scotsman Robert Thornton produced one of the shocks of UK Open history, defeating Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor 11-5 in yesterday’s final at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton.
The tournament, known as the ‘F.A Cup of darts’ due to the open draw format, saw 177 players taking part over 4 days, gives darting hopefuls a chance to shine on the big stage against some of the game’s elite. And as per tradition there were some shock results in the early rounds with the short-match format helping to be a leveller. Defending champion James Wade was defeated by Colin Lloyd in Round 3, after a scare from Steven Bunting in his previous match, whilst world champion Adrian Lewis lost out to Wes Newton in the 4th round.
However, the biggest shock was to be saved for the main event on Sunday as Robert Thornton completed a wonderful tournament which saw him knock out two former World champions as well as Gary Anderson on his way to the final. He came into the final after a 10-4 vicrtory over St Helens darter Dave Chisnall earlier on in the evening, whilst Taylor beat veteran Denis Ovens 10-2.
The final began in familiar fashion for the ‘Power’ as he took a 2-0 lead with 11 and 12-dart finishes in the opening legs respectively. However, astonishingly the Scot would go on to take 9 out of the next 10 legs in a fantastic surge as Taylor suffered on the doubles with a 106 finish being the highlight for the Scot. Taylor pulled one back and then both men traded legs to make it 10-5. However, there were to be no finishing line jitters for Thornton as he took the title in the next with a remarkable 121 finish, taking out on the bull to epitomise the ruthless display.
The defeat is only Taylor’s sixth in major PDC televsion finals, out of over 70 final appearances. The win is Thornton’s second major tournament win, following his 2007 World Masters win in the BDO circuit and is made even more remarkable considering he had been suffering from serious pneumonia just late last year.