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WORLD CHAMPION Adrian Lewis hit back from 3-0 down to win the final of the third Speedy Hire UK Open Qualifier 6-4 against Robert Thornton.

Lewis claimed the £6,000 first prize at Wigan^s Robin Park Tennis Centre with a battling series of displays throughout the event, after overcoming the first PDC Unicorn Youth Tour winner Adam Hunt 6-4 in his opening game.

He hit back after finishes of 164 and 161 from Louis Blundell to defeat the Lancashire ace 6-5 in the second round, overcame Paul Nicholson 6-1 and Scott Rand 6-4 in reaching the last eight.

There, he defeated Bristol^s Steve Brown - who had won the opening UK Open Qualifier a fortnight ago - 6-4 and repeated the scoreline against Andy Jenkins in the semi-final.

Scottish star Thornton punished a total of ten missed doubles from Lewis to win the opening two legs of the final, and then hit two 180s in taking leg three in 12 darts for a 3-0 cushion.

Lewis hit a 180 of his own in the fourth, and finally posted double ten to get off the mark.

A 12-darter broke Thornton^s throw as he followed three 140s with an 81 finish on the bull, before taking out double ten to level after the Scot narrowly missed double top for a 145 checkout.

Thornton finished 70 to edge back in front at 4-3, but Lewis levelled in 13 darts and produced a key break in leg nine with a 124 finish, again checking out on the bullseye.

Lewis opened the next with a 180 to give himself the edge, although Thornton hit back with two maximums to leave 41 after nine darts - but he could only watch as the world number two sealed the win with an 11-darter by taking out 88 on double 14.

"I^m really pleased with this and it was a hard tournament to win," said Lewis. "I had some tough games throughout the day, starting with young Adam Hunt and Louis Blundell.

"The standard is amazing now but to come through so many hard matches shows I^m improving as a player, especially backing up from the Premier League on Thursday night.

"At the start of the final my double ten deserted me and I missed seven darts at it in the first leg and a couple more in the second.

"It started playing on my mind but once I hit it to get that first leg I was fine. Robert put me under the cosh there but I^m happy with how I battled back."

Thornton^s run saw him reach his first PDC ProTour final for 18 months, and included a 6-2 win over Gary Anderson in an all-Scottish semi-final.

He also overcame Richie Burnett, Michael Smith, Andy Smith and Brendan Dolan on the day in claiming £3,000 prize money.

Anderson bounced back from losing his unbeaten record in the Premier League Darts on Thursday to Phil Taylor by reaching the last four alongside Andy Jenkins, the Portsmouth star reaching his first ranking semi-final for three years.

Jenkins knocked out five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, Kevin Painter and Derby-based due Andy Hamilton and Jamie Caven on his way to the semis as he picked up £2,000 prize money.

Richie Burnett and Peter Wright joined Hamilton and Brown in reaching the quarter-finals, while Michael Smith, who won the second UK Open Qualifier a fortnight ago, reached the last 16 before losing to Thornton.

The fourth Speedy Hire UK Open Qualifier will be played on Sunday at Wigan^s Robin Park Tennis Centre.


UK Open Qualifier Three (Wigan, Saturday)
Preliminary Round
Terry Temple 6-3 Lee Palfreyman
Tim Hope 6-3 Tony Blundell
Mark Jodrill 6-2 Andy Hodges
Darren Whittingham 6-1 Jon Archer
Paul Rowley 6-4 Brian Woods
Michael Rosenauer 6-1 Andy Hutchings
Adam Smith-Neale 6-2 Michael Mansell
Scott Rand 6-5 Andy Brown
Dyson Parody 6-3 Prakash Jiwa
Dylan Duo 6-4 Andy Relf
John Henderson 6-0 Ian Jopling
Simon Jones 6-5 Nigel Birch
Matt Jackson 6-3 Steve Grubb
Andy Pearce 6-5 Mark Stephenson
Arron Monk 6-5 Geoff Whitworth


First Round
Tony Eccles 6-0 Paul Schofield
Mark Lawrence 6-5 Ken Dobson
Chris Aubrey 6-3 Colin Lloyd
Mark Hylton 6-4 Terry Temple
Vincent van der Voort 6-0 Kevin Dowling
Mick McGowan 6-0 Mark Tiller
Mark Frost 6-0 Norman Fletcher
Andy Hamilton 6-2 Tim Hope
Stephen Hardy 6-3 Colin Monk
Joe Cullen 6-0 Mike Gillett
Wes Newton 6-1 Dave Ladley
Jamie Caven 6-1 Mark Jodrill
James Richardson 6-1 Steve Hine
Kevin Painter 6-0 Adrian Bolitho
Andy Jenkins 6-5 Wayne Atwood
Raymond van Barneveld 6-0 Darren Whittingham
Steve Brown 6-1 Darrell Claydon
Jimmy Mann 6-3 Roland Scholten
Tony Ayres 6-5 Martyn Turner
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 Paul Rowley
Michael Barnard 6-1 Ryan Harrington
Mick Todd 6-1 Kirk Shepherd
Shane O^Connor 6-1 Peter Manley
Michael Rosenauer 6-1 Dennis Smith
Louis Blundell 6-1 Edwin Griffiths
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Adam Hunt
Aodhagan O^Neill 6-3 John MaGowan
Paul Nicholson 6-1 Adam Smith-Neale
Denis Ovens 6-0 Steve Perkins
Steve Maish 6-2 Marko Kantele
Ronnie Baxter 6-3 Darren Latham
Scott Rand 6-5 Wayne Jones
Brendan Dolan 6-1 Richie Corner
Robert Thornton 6-1 Jimmy O^Regan
Andy Smith 6-2 Adrian Gray
Steve Beaton 6-2 Dyson Parody
Dennis Priestley 6-1 Lee White
Nigel Heydon 6-5 Devon Petersen
Michael Smith 6-4 Rocco Maes
Alex Roy 6-3 Dylan Duo
Ian White 6-2 Chris Thompson
Nick Fullwell 6-1 Peter Hudson
John Part 6-4 Sam Allen
Mark Walsh 6-0 John Henderson
Mark Dudbridge 6-0 Ian Lever
Antonio Alcinas 6-2 David Coyne
Richie Burnett 6-1 Ashley Holgate
Barrie Bates 6-4 Simon Jones
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Jamie Atkins
Peter Wright 6-2 Matt Padgett
Mareno Michels 6-5 Steve Evans
Matt Jackson 6-5 Matt Clark
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Jason Crawley
William O^Connor 6-5 Mark Jones
Darren Johnson 6-0 John Walton
Mervyn King 6-2 Andy Pearce
John O^Shea 6-0 Wayne Mardle
Gary Anderson 6-1 Nicky Bache
Magnus Caris 6-5 Andrew Hibbert
Arron Monk 6-5 Colin Osborne
Mark Webster 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Dean Jones 6-3 Alan Tabern
Terry Jenkins 6-0 Andy Pearson
Shaun Griffiths 6-2 Steve Farmer


Second Round
Mark Lawrence 6-4 Tony Eccles
Chris Aubrey 6-4 Mark Hylton
Vincent van der Voort 6-0 Mick McGowan
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Mark Frost
Stephen Hardy 6-3 Joe Cullen
Jamie Caven 6-5 Wes Newton
Kevin Painter 6-1 James Richardson
Andy Jenkins 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Steve Brown 6-0 Jimmy Mann
Tony Ayres 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Michael Barnard 6-1 Mick Todd
Shane O^Connor 6-3 Michael Rosenauer
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Louis Blundell
Paul Nicholson 6-1 Aodhagan O^Neill
Steve Maish 6-3 Denis Ovens
Scott Rand 6-1 Ronnie Baxter
Robert Thornton 6-1 Brendan Dolan
Andy Smith 6-5 Steve Beaton
Nigel Heydon 6-3 Dennis Priestley
Michael Smith 6-3 Alex Roy
Ian White 6-5 Nick Fullwell
Mark Walsh 6-3 John Part
Mark Dudbridge 6-5 Antonio Alcinas
Richie Burnett 6-3 Barrie Bates
Peter Wright 6-3 Michael van Gerwen
Matt Jackson 6-0 Mareno Michels
Simon Whitlock 6-1 William O^Connor
Mervyn King 6-1 Darren Johnson
Gary Anderson 6-1 John O^Shea
Magnus Caris 6-5 Arron Monk
Mark Webster 6-3 Dean Jones
Terry Jenkins 6-4 Shaun Griffiths
Losers £200


Third Round
Chris Aubrey 6-1 Mark Lawrence
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Vincent van der Voort
Jamie Caven 6-3 Stephen Hardy
Andy Jenkins 6-4 Kevin Painter
Steve Brown 6-2 Tony Ayres
Michael Barnard 6-3 Shane O^Connor
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Paul Nicholson
Scott Rand 6-5 Steve Maish
Robert Thornton 6-1 Andy Smith
Michael Smith 6-2 Nigel Heydon
Mark Walsh 6-5 Ian White
Richie Burnett 6-4 Mark Dudbridge
Peter Wright 6-2 Matt Jackson
Mervyn King 6-4 Simon Whitlock
Gary Anderson 6-5 Magnus Caris
Mark Webster 6-4 Terry Jenkins
Losers £400


Fourth Round
Andy Hamilton 6-4 Chris Aubrey
Andy Jenkins 6-4 Jamie Caven
Steve Brown 6-5 Michael Barnard
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Scott Rand
Robert Thornton 6-3 Michael Smith
Richie Burnett 6-3 Mark Walsh
Peter Wright 6-4 Mervyn King
Gary Anderson 6-2 Mark Webster
Losers £600


Andy Jenkins 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Steve Brown
Robert Thornton 6-5 Richie Burnett
Gary Anderson 6-3 Peter Wright
Losers £1,000


Adrian Lewis 6-4 Andy Jenkins
Robert Thornton 6-2 Gary Anderson
Losers £2,000


Adrian Lewis 6-4 Robert Thornton
Winner £6,000
Runner-Up £3,000


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