Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier: Robert Thornton sinks Jamie Caven
Last Updated: 18/03/13 6:55am
Robert Thornton: Sealed victory in Wigan
Robert Thornton defeated Jamie Caven 6-4 in the final of the fourth Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier in Wigan.
The defending UK Open champion fell 2-1 down to Caven in the early stages before levelling the game for a second time in the fourth leg with the aid of a 14-dart finish, which included a 180.
Caven moved ahead for a third time by taking the fifth leg, only for Thornton to level and then win the seventh with an impressive 11-darter which began with back-to-back maximums.
Thornton won his third leg in a row to move closer to victory only for Caven to keep his hopes alive by taking the ninth. However the Scotsman ended the contest with an excellent 15-darter.
Thornton started his run to the £6,000 winners prize by defeating former World Championship runner-up Mark Dudbridge 6-1, and followed that with victories over Mark Hylton and Ian White.
He then edged out Peter Hudson 6-5 in the last 32 before defeating in-form Canadian John Part by a 6-3 margin to confirm his place in the last eight, where he beat Peter Wright 6-2.
Thornton then scored a superb semi-final victory over Dutch superstar Michael van Gerwen, who had won Saturday's event.
For Caven it was his best performance on the Pro Tour since defeating Adrian Lewis to win the Players Championship in Derby back in February 2011.
The Derby professional began the day with a tough 6-5 victory over Chris Mason before thrashing James Wade 6-1. He then defeated Joey Palfreyman 6-0 and reached the last 16 thanks to a 6-3 victory over Saturday's runner-up, Michael Smith.
Caven went on to beat Paul Amos to reach the last eight and recorded a brace of 6-2 victories against Magnus Caris and Gary Anderson to reach the final, before having to settle for the £3,000 runners-up prize.
The road to the televised stages of the Speedy Services UK Open, in June, continues when two further Qualifiers take place at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, in Wigan, during the weekend of 13-14 April. A total of £35,000 will be on offer in both events.