ROBERT THORNTON 5-4 Steve Beaton

Robert Thornton won through to the last 16 of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts after a deciding leg triumph over Steve Beaton.

The Scottish ace’s sharp finishing helped him see off ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ and book his place in the second round of the Wolverhampton tournament.

“I’m very happy,” said Thornton, who qualifies from Group B with four points.

“I just knew that I had to win. I wasn’t interested in by how many legs.

“Steve and I always have great battles and I’m glad to be through.

“I don’t care who I play next. I’ll just try to play my best game and if I do that I’ll be happy enough.”

Thornton took out 83 to win the opening leg but Beaton levelled on double four.

‘The Thorn’ kicked off the third leg with a brilliant 177 and finished it with a neat 67 checkout to edge back in front.

Beaton replied with a 124 finish of his own to make it 2-2 before a 76 out-shot gave the former World Champion the lead.

Thornton replied in style, taking out 90 on the bull for a break of throw.

He then cleaned up 65 to regain the lead at 4-3 but Beaton hit tops to force a deciding leg.

Thornton bedded double ten after his opponent missed three darts for the match, as the UK Open Champion moved into the knockout stages.

By Chris Murphy

Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC