ONE of Scotland's best known darts stars retained a TV title for the first time in his career on Sunday.

Robert ‘The Thorn’ Thornton, from Stevenston, was playing in only the second ever World Senior Darts Championship – having won the inaugural competition last year.

Thornton admitted this added some pressure – but he showed little signs of feeling the heat, dropping only three legs over course of his five matches in the tournament.

The competition field was much improved this year, rising from 24 to 32 players and featuring big names such as Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, Leonard Gates and Terry Jenkins.

But The Thorn breezed past Roland Scholten (3-0), Scott Mitchell (3-0), Neil Duff (3-1), Kevin Painter (3-0) and Richie Howson (5-2) on his way to a second title.

In winning the tournament, Thornton picked up the £30,000 grand prize - the same total as he earned last year.

Speaking to Online Darts after the tournament, Thornton said his win ranked among his very best.

“That is the very first TV tournament I’ve actually defended and won so it makes it extra special,” he said.

“That is the nicest trophy I’ve ever seen. It ranks at the top, the very top. It makes it special because I’ve defended it.”

What helped Robert towards this special victory was the support of his family, who made the journey down to the Circus Tavern entertainment complex in Purfleet, Essex for the final day’s play – much to Robert’s surprise.

He explained: “My daughter phoned me at 9am this morning and said ‘I’ll be with you in two hours’.

“I went ‘what do you mean you’ll be with me in two hours?’. She said ‘we drove down, we left at 3am’.

“To win it with them here with me is amazing.”

Now a double winner of one of the sport’s newest competitions, Thornton, who won the World Masters in 2007, the UK Open in 2012 and the World Grand Prix in 2015, sees his future very much in the senior game.

He did not go to PDC Q-School [the annual qualifying tournament for the main PDC tour] this year, opting not to attempt a return to the sport’s top tour for 2023.

Thornton explained: “It wasn’t a tough decision. There’s less travelling with the seniors.

“I love it – we can turn up, we can play darts.

“There’s so many seniors that want to play darts, but they can’t go Q-School, so they can come and do this.

“I don’t think there’s a ceiling. It’s only going to get bigger.”