This was Wrights first ranking title courtesy of the victory over his fellow scot in the final of the Gleneagle Hotel Players Championship on Saturday. The Scotsman, who is based in Lowestoft, defeated Mark Jones, Benny Grace and Matthew Edgar, before coming out on top against Stoke’s Ian White by a 6-4 margin to reach the quarter-finals.
Wright beat Steve Beaton 6-4 at that stage before triumphing against Adrian Gray by the same scoreline to reach his first final on the PDC Pro Tour since last September. In the final against Thornton, the 42-year-old stamped his authority on the contest by establishing a 4-0 lead, before going on to record a 6-1 victory with the aid of a fantastic 107 average, to secure the £6,000 winners prize and become the PDC’s 50th difference ProTour event winner.
Thornton defeated Stuart Kellett, Prakash Jiwa and Damien O’Driscoll in his opening three matches, before edging out Jamie Caven and Andy Smith by 6-5 scorelines to reach the semi-finals. The Scotsman produced three-ton plus finishes and a 105 average in his last four clash against Darren Webster, to reach his third Pro Tour final in a row, before being outplayed by Wright in the decider. Gray enjoyed his best performance on the PDC ProTour since 2008. The 31-year-old, who retained his full-time place on the circuit by coming through the PDC Qualifying School in January, shocked Brendan Dolan with a whitewash 6-0 victory in his second match of the day.
Gray then went on to defeat Darren Johnson, Andy Jenkins, before a 6-5 triumph over top ten star Andy Hamilton, saw him into the semi-finals. The Hastings thrower’s superb run came to an end in the last four as he lost out to Wright by a 6-4 scoreline, but came away from the event with a cheque for £2,000. Darren Webster, who returned to the PDC circuit in January, produced his best performance of 2012.
The former World Championship quarter-finalist began his run to the last four with victories over Irish duo Mark Hurley and William Fouhy before reaching the last 32 with a deciding-leg victory over St Helens youngster Michael Smith. The Norwich man secured impressive wins over Vincent van der Voort, Dean Winstanley and Colin Osborne before losing out to Thornton by a 6-3 margin for a place in the final. Andy Smith, Colin Osborne, Steve Beaton all reached the last eight, along with World Championship runner-up Andy Hamilton, whose five year wait for a ranking title continues.
Early casualties included the recently crowned European Champion Simon Whitlock, plus two-time major winner Colin Lloyd and reigning Players Championship Finals winner Kevin Painter. The double-header weekend at the INEC in Killarney will conclude on Sunday with the John McEvoy Gold Dart Classic Players Championship, where 144 direct entries plus 32 qualifiers from Ireland and Northern Ireland will compete.
Gleneagle Hotel Players Championship Saturday October 20, INEC Killarney Preliminary RoundBoard One Liam Gallagher 6-5 Ross O’Brian..Adrian Wright 6-1 John McEvoy
Board Two Gerry O’Hara 6-3 David Stack..Ben Forde v Denis Corr..Clifford Doyle v Jason Kavanagh
Board Three Paul Murphy 6-4 George McGivern..Dylan Routledge v Damien Harrington
Board Four Craig Pope 6-0 Kevin Corbley..Damien O’Driscoll 6-1 Stephen Lennon
Board Five Kevin McDonnell 6-4 Mike O’Sullivan..Ben Corcoran v Noel Redmond
Board Six Gary Bradley 6-4 Laurence Collins..Paul Davison v John-Paul Dowdall
Board Seven Conor Hughes 6-0 Liam Condron..Jason McCann v Scott Coleman
Board Eight Darren Webster 6-2 Mark Hurley..William Fouhy 6-4 James Kinsella
Board Nine Terry Barrett 6-5 Aidan McCabe..Martin Murphy 6-0 Martin Fleming
Board Ten Peter Quinn 6-4 Ross Kelly Darren..Johnson 6-3 Mark Lawrence
Board 11 Steve Heneghan 6-5 David O’Donovan..John Nyhan v Dave Ladley
Board 12 Mick McGowan 6-2 Colm Ryan..Jim McKevitt v Darren Hodgson
Board 13 Campbell Jackson 6-1 Mick Egan..Daniel Day 6-4 Harry Strahm
Board 14 Benny Grace 6-3 John O’Hara..John Seagrave v Ryan Maher
Board 15 Daryl Gurney 6-5 Chris Aubrey..Kevin Dowling 6-0 Mark Willis
Board 16 Joe Byrne 6-5 Kevin Burness..Richie Walsh v Glen Fitzpatrick First Round Dave Chisnall (1) 6-3 Michael Mansell Michael Barnard 6-4 Paddy Meaney Steve Hine 6-4 John Part (32) Liam Gallager 6-1 Adrian Wright Richie Burnett (16) 6-1 Liam Kelly Nick Fullwell 6-2 Gerry O’Hara Andy Smith (17) 6-4 Kevin McDine Clifford Doyle 6-4 Denis Corr John Bowles 6-3 Ronnie Baxter (8) Bernd Roith 6-4 Sam Hill Jamie Caven (25) 6-4 Denis Ovens Dylan Routledge 6-3 Paul Murphy Robert Thornton (9) 6-3 Stuart Kellett Prakash Jiwa 6-4 Mick Cummins Gary Anderson (24) 6-1 Jim Walker Damien O’Driscoll 6-5 Craig Pope Michael van Gerwen (5) 6-4 Michael Rosenauer Connie Finnan 6-3 Philip Grave Scott Rand (28) 6-3 Stephen Hardy Noel Redmond 6-2 Kevin McDonnell Colin Osborne (12) 6-5 Paul Rowley John Scott 6-5 Steven Hartigan Roland Scholten 6-4 Paul Nicholson John-Paul Dowdall 6-1 Gary Bradley Terry Temple 6-4 Simon Whitlock (4) Andrew Gilding 6-1 Paul Barham Dean Winstanley (29) 6-3 Adam Smith-Neale Jason McCann 6-2 Conor Hughes Vincent van der Voort (13) 6-1 Tony Littleton Shaun Griffiths 6-0 Billy McAuliffe Michael Smith (20) 6-2 Peter Hudson Darren Webster 6-0 William Fouhy Justin Pipe (2) 6-4 Alex Roy Andy Jenkins 6-4 Barrie Bates John Henderson 6-2 Wayne Jones (31) Martin Murphy 6-0 Terry Barrett Brendan Dolan (15) 6-2 Ross Smith Adrian Gray 6-4 Marty Moreland Mick Todd 6-5 Mark Walsh (18) Darren Johnson 6-0 Peter Quinn Kim Huybrechts (7) 6-2 Keith Stephen Gaz Cousins 6-2 David A Murphy (Limerick) Joe Cullen 6-5 Alan Tabern Dave Ladley 6-2 Steve Heneghan Andy Hamilton (10) 6-1 Steve Brown Richie Howson 6-0 Diarmuid Buckley Steve Grubb 6-5 Kevin Painter (23) Mick McGowan 6-4 Darren Hodgson Ian White (6) 6-4 Brian Woods Arron Monk 6-0 Dwayne McEvoy Ted Hankey 6-3 James Richardson Campbell Jackson 6-3 Daniel Day Matthew Edgar 6-4 Colin Lloyd (11) Jamie Lewis 6-1 David B Murphy (Wexford) Peter Wright (22) 6-3 Mark Jones Benny Grace 6-1 Ryan Maher Wes Newton (3) 6-2 Mark Hylton Dennis Smith 6-1 William O’Connor James Hubbard (30) 6-5 Mareno Michels Kevin Dowling 6-3 Daryl Gurney Mark Webster (14) 6-2 Nigel Heydon Joe Murnan 6-1 John Dunne Steve Beaton (19) 6-5 Steve Maish Joe Byrne 6-4 Glen Fitzpatrick Second Round Dave Chisnall 6-4 Michael Barnard Steve Hine 6-0 Liam Gallagher Nick Fulwell 6-4 Richie Burnett Andy Smith 6-2 Clifford Doyle Bernd Roith 6-3 John Bowles Jamie Caven 6-3 Dylan Routledge Robert Thornton 6-5 Prakash Jiwa Damien O’Driscoll 6-2 Gary Anderson Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Connie Finnan Scott Rand 6-3 Noel Redmond Colin Osborne 6-0 John Scott Roland Scholten 6-0 John-Paul Dowdall Terry Temple 6-4 Andrew Gilding Dean Winstanley 6-3 Jason McCann Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Shaun Griffiths Darren Webster 6-5 Michael Smith Andy Jenkins 6-5 Justin Pipe John Henderson 6-3 Martin Murphy Adrian Gray 6-0 Brendan Dolan Darren Johnson 6-5 Mick Todd Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Gaz Cousins Joe Cullen 6-2 Dave Ladley Andy Hamilton 6-4 Richie Howson Steve Grubb 6-1 Mick McGowan Ian White 6-4 Arron Monk Campbell Jackson 6-3 Ted Hankey Matthew Edgar 6-2 Jamie Lewis Peter Wright 6-1 Benny Grace Wes Newton 6-3 Dennis Smith James Hubbard 6-5 Kevin Dowling Mark Webster 6-0 Joe Murnan Steve Beaton 6-3 Joe Byrne Losers £200 Third Round Steve Hine 6-4 Dave Chisnall Andy Smith 6-1 Nick Fulwell Jamie Caven 6-2 Bernd Roith Robert Thornton 6-0 Damien O’Driscoll Scott Rand 6-5 Michael van Gerwen Colin Osborne 6-2 Roland Scholten Dean Winstanley 6-2 Terry Temple Darren Webster 6-5 Vincent van der Voort Andy Jenkins 6-3 John Henderson Adrian Gray 6-3 Darren Johnson Joe Cullen 6-4 Kim Huybrechts Andy Hamilton 6-2 Steve Grubb Ian White 6-1 Campbell Jackson Peter Wright 6-2 Matthew Edgar James Hubbard 6-5 Wes Newton Steve Beaton 6-3 Mark Webster Losers £400 Fourth Round Andy Smith 6-1 Steve Hine Robert Thornton 6-5 Jamie Caven Colin Osborne 6-5 Scott Rand Darren Webster 6-1 Dean Winstanley Adrian Gray 6-4 Andy Jenkins Andy Hamilton 6-4 Joe Cullen Peter Wright 6-4 Ian White Steve Beaton 6-4 James Hubbard Losers £600 Quarter-Finals Robert Thornton 6-5 Andy Smith Darren Webster 6-5 Colin Osborne Adrian Gray 6-5 Andy Hamilton Peter Wright 6-4 Steve Beaton Losers £1,000 Semi-Finals Robert Thornton 6-4 Darren Webster Adrian Gray 4-6 Peter Wright Losers £2,000 Final Robert Thornton 1-6 Peter Wright Winner £6,000 – Runner Up £3,000