Phil Taylor knocked out of World Grand Prix in Dublin by Robert Thornton
Robert Thornton upset 10-time champion Phil Taylor with a thrilling final leg win at the World Grand Prix in Dublin.
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH
Last Updated: 11/10/12 6:28pm
Thornton beat The Power to win the UK Open title in June and had won two of their last three meetings going into the match - and he showed he was not scared of the 15-time world champion as he pressured the Stoke legend all night.
In an epic clash, the match went right down to a one-leg shoot-out at the end of a ding-dong battle, and strangely it was Taylor who folded under the pressure allowing Thornton to go through to the quarter-finals.
The Power was not at his best despite winning the opening set, but Thornton hit back in style and he continued to outscore his illustrious opponent when levelling at one set each, before moving in front as Taylor started to feel the pressure.
A celebration at going 2-1 up was short-lived for the Scot as Taylor hit back with a clean sweep 3-0 set that drew the 10-time Dublin champion back into it and the match went into a nerve-jangling deciding set.
Taylor got his nose in front again when he went 2-1 up after two missed doubles from Thornton, but the Scot showed superb bottle to hit back once again and when he took the next on double four the match went into a deciding one-leg shootout.
The last leg proved as thrilling as the entire match, and a similar pattern emerged as Taylor got down to the double first, but unbelievably missed five match darts at double 16 allowing Thornton to step up and nail tops to complete another huge win over The Power.
"He missed a few doubles tonight, and when he missed I hit," Thornton told Sky Sports. "I never give in that's the thing, even when he was on the double at the end, I just wanted to hit a big score to pressure and when he missed I hit it.
"It's not like him, normally he pegs double 16 but luck was on my side tonight and I'm delighted to have beaten him again."
Thornton now takes on Mervyn King who repelled a fightback from fellow Englishman Dave Chisnall to triumph 3-1.
King won six of the first seven legs to take command but Chisnall produced finishes of 130 and 116 and 82 to capture the third set.
Chisnall then held a 2-1 lead in the fourth set but missed a double five to set up a deciding set and King stepped in to seal the victory.
Justin Pipe also emerged from a tense tussle with former World Championship finalist Kevin Painter before booking his place in the last eight with a 3-2 win.
Last year's beaten finalist Brendan Dolan will be lying in wait for Pipe after he made it safely into the quarter-finals after a 3-1 win over Dutchman Vincent van der Voort.
Dolan, who made history by hitting a perfect nine-dart leg in the double-start format last year, took a commanding two-set lead, and although van der Voort scrapped his way to the third, it was only a brief delay for the Northern Irishman.
"The scoreline may look comfortable, but there's nothing comfortable when you're having to start with a double," said Dolan, who has now won six of his last seven matches at the event.
"The crowds are unreal for me, their support means everything to me. It just gives me the adrenaline rush I probably need to get me going and get me focused on that first dart - especially with the double start.
"I'm still in it so I've every opportunity to get back to the final, so with the crowd and the support all behind me why not go all the way to the final again."