Taylor downs Thornton to set up Hamilton battle
Phil Taylor serenely made it through to the quarter-finals of the PDC World Darts Championship in the last match before the tournament shut down for Christmas.
The 15-time world champion saw off Robert Thornton, a man who has held the Indian sign over him in recent months, 4-0 at Alexandra Palace.
Taylor was rarely troubled by an off-colour Thornton, checking out on 131 in the opener and taking advantage of his opponent missing three throws at double top to take the second set.
He got out of trouble in the third, taking a leg against the throw with a stunning 121, and the fourth duly followed as Thornton fell to bits on stage, missing his ninth double.
Before him, Andy Hamilton sounded a warning with an impressive 4-1 win over Terry Jenkins.
In a game where there was no clear favourite, Jenkins was unable to hit his doubles and was the victim of a man in brilliant form on checkout.
Jenkins took the opening set but cracks appeared when he failed to land double top to go 2-0 up in the second, allowing Hamilton to level.
The 45-year-old checked out on 86 to go 2-1 up and landed a double 16 to make it three, with Jenkins passing up six chances to take the fourth set.
It was only a matter of time for Hamilton after that and he crossed the line with a stunning 130 finish.
Hamilton and Taylor meet next.
Also in ominous form was many people's title favourite, Michael van Gerwen.
The Dutchman went 2-0 down against Peter Wright but won four sets on the reel to book his place in the third round.
Dean Winstanley hit a nine-dart finish against Vincent van der Voort, but fell to a 4-2 second-round defeat.
Mark Walsh won 4-2 against Justin Pipe, and James Wade got the better of Steve Beaton.