Thornton, who played twice as a result of Wes Newton’s absence through illness, won the last two legs to snatch a draw from Peter Wright in his first match but was defeated by Simon Whitlock in his second, despite averaging over 103.
THORNTON 6-6 Wright
Thornton trailed unbeaten Wright by six legs to four but produced some fantastic arrows to seal a point.
The Scottish ace,who is enjoying his second consecutive season in the Premier League, hammered home six 180s in a high-quality display.
Thornton hit back to back 180s in the opening leg, which he won against throw before bedding double three to double his early advantage.
Wright reduced the deficit with a 116 finish but ‘The Thorn’ pinned tops to move 3-1 in front.
Wright took the next two legs to restore parity before taking out 103 to edge ahead for the first time in the match.
A third 180 from Thornton, followed by a successful dart at double top drew the Scotsman level but ‘Snakebite’ finished 78 to regain the lead at 5-4.
And when Thornton missed three clear darts at tops, Wright took out 96 to leave the former UK Open winner in need of the last two legs for a draw.
Thornton fired in his fourth 180 and then pegged double ten to break his opponent’s throw.
And Thornton kicked off the twelfth leg with six perfect darts, before completing a brilliant eleven-darter to earn a precious point.
THORNTON 5-7 Whitlock
Thornton kicked off with a 180 and took out 86 to break Whitlock’s throw immediately before ‘The Wizard’ replied in kind with a neat 90 finish.
Whitlock then started leg three with his first 180 and he took out 70 to win it but Thornton’s second maximum helped him draw level, despite Whitlock also scoring his second 180.
The Australian fired in a 171 and produced a sensational 150 finish to move back in front by the odd leg in five.
The pair both started the sixth leg with their third 180s, with Thornton going on to restore parity by pinning double top to complete an eleven-darter.
He followed that by again going off with a maximum as he grabbed a break of throw, before bedding tops to move two legs clear.
Whitlock took out 61 to pull a leg back and then pegged double top for a crucial break of throw, squaring up the match at five legs apiece.
And when Thornton missed two darts at double four, Whitlock stepped forward to clean up 60 and claim his first point of the campaign.
‘The Wizard’ made sure he would take two points by taking out 81 to seal victory with his opponent waiting on 24.
By Chris Murphy