Dave Chisnall was a dramatic final leg victor over Robert Thornton on his Premier League Darts debut on Thursday night.
Morecambe’s world number five broke the Scot’s throw for a 7-5 victory at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
It was a tight encounter in the opening contest of this year’s competition but Chisnall got his nose in front decisively to make his debut in the event in some style.
Thornton threw the game’s first 180 in the opening leg but Chisnall took out 64 to hold his throw for a 1-0 lead.
A 96 checkout from the 2012 UK Open Champion then levelled things up at 1-1 but Chisnall went ahead again at 2-1.
The Morecambe ace’s first 180 came in the fourth leg but Thornton held for 2-2 before hitting a 180 in the next leg and checking out 65 for the first break of throw in the match.
Undeterred, Chisnall broke back with both players missing doubles before a 180 and a 140 in leg seven saw him take a 4-3 lead.
Another Chisnall maximum wasn’t enough to stop Thornton levelling things up at 4-4 with a 95 checkout but Morecambe’s World Grand Prix finalist went ahead again at 5-4.
Thornton held again for 5-5 before Chisnall won a crucial 11th leg, both players missing doubles before he held throw for a 6-5 lead.
And heavy scoring then set up a leg against the throw for victory, Chisnall taking out 50, finishing on double 10, for a big win.