Robert Thornton moved into the second round of the World Darts Championship with victory over German teenager Max Hopp on Saturday evening.

The Scottish ace recovered from falling a set behind to the 17-year-old, who made his Alexandra Palace debut last year, to seal a 3-1 success.

“Max was on fire for a while,” admitted Thornton, the recent Grand Slam of Darts runner-up.

“He’s one of the best young darts players around and has a massive future ahead of him.

“I didn’t panic though and was glad to turn it around and get through.”

I’ll have to prepare all over again for next week’s game but there’ll be a few less nerves now I’ve played once.

Hopp took the first set and led 2-1 in the second, hitting three 180s along the way, but Thornton fought his way back by pegging double top in consecutive legs to level up proceedings.

The world number nine won all three legs in the third set to move ahead, before breaking in the first leg of the fourth.

Hopp replied in kind but ‘The Thorn’ took out a ton to move within a leg of victory. A 180 edged him even closer before he finished the job on tops.

Thornton will be back in action on Saturday 21 December when he meets either Colin Lloyd or Beau Anderson.

By Chris Murphy

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