Robert Thornton secured his second televised title of 2022 at the World Seniors Matchplay in Hull courtesy of a tense…
Robert Thornton secured his second televised title of 2022 at the World Seniors Matchplay in Hull courtesy of a tense 12-10 victory over Phil Taylor in the final.
Thornton, who claimed the inaugural World Seniors Championship title in February, made further history by becoming the first name on the World Seniors Matchplay trophy.
The 54-year-old produced a series of stirring fightbacks on a dramatic final day of action at the Bonus Arena to land the £10,000 top prize.
The tenacious Scot recovered from 7-3 down to edge out Martin Adams in the Semi-Finals, before overturning a 7-5 defeat to deny Taylor in the final.
“To win it, especially against the 16-time champion of the world, you can’t ask for anything sweeter than that,” said Thornton.
“Phil says he’s not practicing – don’t kid me! He’s still practicing, he wants to win these, everybody does.
“My biggest aim is to get my PDC Tour Card back and if I wasn’t to do it, my biggest aim after that is to defend the titles I’ve won and maybe win more.”
Thornton, who defeated Brian Dawson in Round One, began his charge on Sunday with an 8-6 victory over Terry Jenkins in the Quarter-Finals.
He then returned in the evening to pull off a remarkable comeback with six consecutive legs from 7-3 down to deny three-time World Champion Martin Adams.
Taylor, chasing down a maiden Seniors title, took command of the final in the early exchanges, opening up leads of 4-2, 6-4 and 7-5.
Thornton kickstarted his revival with a 13-darter in leg 13, and though Taylor moved within a leg of victory, the 16-time World Champion squandered multiple match darts and allowed the Scot to send the match into a tie break.
Thornton moved in front at 9-8, and after Taylor levelled again, the former UK Open and World Grand Prix winner took out 81 on the bullseye to regain the upper-hand.
An 82 checkout from Taylor was countered by a 100 finish from ‘The Thorn’ to make it 11-10, and he duly sealed the deal in the next leg to avert the need for a sudden death decider.
Taylor, who was also runner-up at the World Seniors Masters in May, started the day by defeating his old rival Peter Manley 8-4.
He then battled past another former rival in Kevin Painter 12-10 in a marathon tie break contest, producing a vintage 164 checkout along the way and surviving multiple missed match darts from ‘The Artist’.
Painter had earlier defeated in-form debutant qualifier Colin McGarry 8-5 with a 92 average despite a 170 checkout from the Northern Irishman.
Adams whitewashed Lisa Ashton 8-0 in the Quarter-Finals but was left to rue what might have been after squandering a four-leg lead against Thornton.
Televised World Seniors action will return in 2022, with the tour set to incorporate a £200,000 prize fund with the addition of a fourth ‘major’ event.
World Seniors Matchplay 2022 Day Three Results
Sunday July 3
Robert Thornton 8-6 Terry Jenkins
Martin Adams 8-0 Lisa Ashton
Phil Taylor 8-4 Peter Manley
Kevin Painter 8-5 Colin McGarry
Robert Thornton 9-7 Martin Adams
Phil Taylor 12-10 Kevin Painter
Robert Thornton 12-10 Phil Taylor
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