- World Darts Championship
Taylor powers into quarter-finals at Ally Pally
Phil Taylor marched into the quarter-finals of the World Darts Championship with a dominant 4-0 victory over Robert Thornton at Alexandra Palace.
The 15-time world champion had looked unconvincing in his opening victories over Mickey Mansell and Jerry Hendriks, but moved through the gears as he avoided a third defeat to the Scot this year.
Thornton, who had stunned Taylor in June with victory in the UK Open final before proving the win was no fluke with a second round win at the World Grand Prix, took the opening leg but was helpless to prevent Taylor powering through the next seven legs to wrest control of the contest.
Thornton stopped the rot to break back in the early stages of the third set and had the chance to claw himself back into the match, but faltered and Taylor took full advantage to move within one set of victory. It was a clinical performance from Taylor, who will now face Andy Hamilton in the last-eight after last year's finalist came from behind to defat Terry Jenkins 4-1.
Jenkins won the first set and had a number of chances to double his advantage, but Hamilton held his nerve to level before moving ahead after another tight set before clinching the victory with a 130 checkout.
"I'm started really slowly and couldn't get into the game but I'm delighted with the way I recovered," said Hamilton said. "Terry did miss a lot of doubles but I took all the chances that came my and it's a wonderful feeling to be the first player through to the quarter-finals.
In the day's second round action, Dean Winstanley became only the third man to hit a nine-dart finish in the tournament's history during his 4-2 defeat to Vincent van der Voort.
Winstanley followed in the footsteps of Raymond van Barneveld (twice) and Adrian Lewis to throw nine-darters at the World Championship, but it could not inspire him to victory. The nine-darter helped the 31-year-old battle back from 2-0 down to level, but the Dutchman pulled away once more to seal his place in the last-16.
Van de Voort will face James Wade in the third round after the No. 3 seed defeated Steve Beaton 4-2. Wade twice forged ahead only to be pegged back by his opponent, but a 130 checkout saw him take the lead for a third time, and this time there was no coming back for Beaton as Wade sealed the match with a 120 checkout.
Michael van Gerwen survived a scare as he had to come from behind to defeat Peter Wright 4-2. The Dutchman looked in trouble after losing the opening two sets, but rallied to win 12 of the next 14 legs to win the match.
Earlier in the day Mark Walsh beat Justin Pipe 4-2 to set up a third round clash with sixth seed Wes Newton.