PDC World Darts: Daryl Gurney beats Robert Thornton to reach last 16
|William Hill World Darts Championship|
|Venue: Alexandra Palace, London Dates: 15 December to 2 January|
|BBC coverage: Daily reports and results plus live text commentary on the final.|
Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney edged out Scotland's Robert Thornton 4-3 in a thrilling second-round match at the PDC World Championship.
The 30-year-old's win secured him a last-16 spot in the Alexandra Palace event for the first time.
Londonderry man Gurney looked in total control as he produced brilliant form to dominate the opening two sets.
But after losing the first seven legs, Thornton fought back to lead 3-2 before Gurney regrouped to take victory.
Gurney's late burst included a 161 finish to win the third leg in set six as world number nine Thornton's form deserted him in the closing stages.
The Northern Irishman will face Wales' world number 25 Mark Webster in the next round.
Northern Ireland's other hopeful Brendan Dolan will face Dutchman Jelle Klaasen in his second-round game on Wednesday.
Thornton didn't have a shot at a double in the opening six legs of the match as his poor scoring allied to Gurney's superb 105 average allowed the Northern Irishman to storm into a two sets lead.
Gurney won the first leg of set three after Thornton, 49, missed five shots at a double but a 180 helped the Scot open his account in the next and he went on to clinch the set thanks to 12 and 13-dart legs as his form suddenly improved.
Thornton's average exceeded 105 in sets four and five as his run of nine out of 12 legs helped move him 3-2 ahead, as Gurney's form dipped considerable.
However after Thornton won the opening leg in set six, his failure to set up a routine double top shot in the next as he instead had to aim for double 18, which he missed, granted Gurney a reprieve.
Gurney then produced his 161 out shot to move 2-1 ahead in the set before winning the next to ensure the decider.
Thornton missed shots at double top and double 10 in the opening leg of the final set and as the Scot's game became increasingly ragged amid a couple of unlucky bounce-outs, Gurney held his nerve to win the next two legs.
A relieved Gurney told Sky Sports that his victory was "a monkey off my back".
"I've had seven or eight world championships (both PDC and BDO) and I've never got past the second round," added the 30-year-old.
"I knew he was going to come back at me. I knew it was coming and I was lucky to get through at the end."