Daryl Gurney is through to the semi-finals of the World Grand Prix and is the final man into the line-up. He defeated a resurgent Robert Thornton in a sudden death shootout in a brilliant match and is on the verge of his first major final and potentially become the first Irish man to win the title on the Emerald Isle.
Thornton started off by punishing missed doubles by Gurney to hit tops for a 1-0 lead to ‘The Thorn’. Gurney missed doubles in the first leg and it was Thornton’s turn to do so with Gurney punishing with a 60 checkout to break back.
Gurney followed that up with a hold of throw on D8. It took Thornton 9 darts to get off in the next leg which allowed Gurney to grab the first set in pretty quick time.
Thornton came back from the break to hit a 25 checkout on D4. Gurney in the following leg held his throw easily and then followed that up by hitting D14 to break the throw of the former champion despite both men missing multiple shots at doubles.
Robert got to the 9 dart finish but hit into the treble 1, he still came back to hit D12 to break and go a hold away from levelling it up.
He then took out D5 to win the set to make it 1-1. Gurney came back to take the first leg but Thornton smashed in a 103 to hold his throw and level up.
Thornton missed darts to lead for the first time and potentially win another set in the following leg which then handed to impetus to Gurney. Thornton was resilient and held his throw on D5. Gurney though hit a 70 checkout on D8 to win his second set with ‘The Thorn’ not happy with his celebration.
Thornton missed darts at doubles but Gurney couldn’t pounce so Thornton got on the board with a hold. Gurney held his throw also with a 96 checkout to put him two away from the finishing line.
A great last dart in hand put Thornton 2-1 up and 1 away from a deciding set. Gurney held his throw on D6 to take it to a deciding leg, either Gurney would win or a decider would be forced.
A 180 to leave 57 gave Thornton the set and forces a decider. A brilliant 116 checkout to punish Gurney started the decider.
Gurney punished him in the next leg hitting D16 after missed darts from Thornton. He then hit D2 to go one away. He didn’t win yet as The Thorn sent it into a decider hitting a 44 checkout. Gurney had the crowd on his side and smoothly hit a 58 checkout to set up a clash with John Henderson.


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Author: Samuel Gill