ROBERT THORNTON claimed his first ever win in the World Matchplay with a 10-7 triumph against Josh Payne on Saturday evening.
The 2015 World Grand Prix champion had suffered first round defeats on each of his six previous visits to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens but managed to end his hoodoo to progress into the last 16.
“Obviously I was aware of my record – it’s impossible to avoid – but I didn’t give it a second thought when I Was going for that last double,” said Thornton, the world number eight.
“I’m very happy that I’ve won my first game in Blackpool but I can’t bask in it too long because now I want to win my second.”
The pair shared the first ten legs before four 180s in the following two legs helped Thornton move 7-5 ahead.
Payne held his throw but then squandered six darts at doubles to break, allowing ‘The Thorn’ to pin tops to restore a two-leg lead.
A clean 97 checkout saw the Scotsman move within a leg of victory and he went on to finish the job on double 18.
Thornton will take on Dave Chisnall on Tuesday.