Robert Thornton missed out on a place in the quarter-finals of the Players Championship after being denied in a dramatic deciding leg against Raymond van Barneveld on Saturday.
The Scotsman hit back from falling two legs behind on three seperate occassions but missed three darts to win the match, which saw ‘Barney’ progress in Minehead.
The first two legs were shared before ‘Barney’ grabbed the first break of throw on double eight.
The Dutchman’s first 180 helped him move further ahead but Thornton pulled it back to 3-2.
The next two legs went with the throw before ‘The Thorn’ took out 80 to break and restore parity.
Finishes of 74 and 86 saw van Barneveld wrestle back control but the Scotsman hit back again, winning the next two legs to tie the match at six legs apiece.
‘Barney’ broke back immediately before pinning double 18 to move within a leg of victory but the five-time World Champion again saw a two-leg lead disappear, missing six match darts as Thornton set up a decider.
But the world number nine failed to take advantage of having the throw as he missed three match darts before van Barneveld landed tops to move into the last eight.
By Chris Murphy