The Dutch five-time World Champion continued his fine form in the tournament and admitted that a draw was a fair result, despite leading 6-4 at one stage.
‘Barney’ said: “On paper people will have been thinking I should win but Robert is awesome and is hard to beat.
“He put me under pressure in every single leg and I think a draw was the right outcome.
“I wasn’t too happy with my scoring but maybe it’s down to a bit of tiredness so in the end I’m happy with a draw.
“I know now for sure that I’m not going to be relegated, which was my first target and it’s brilliant to be top of the league.”
Thornton hit his first 180 in the opening leg, which he won on double top.
‘Barney’ bedded the same double to level before pinning double sixteen to move ahead.
The Dutchman hit his first maximum in the third leg but ‘The Thorn’ again bedded tops to draw level.
van Barneveld pegged double four in each of the next two legs to move into a 4-2 lead.
Thornton hit back though, sinking double ten for a break of throw.
That sparked a run of five consecutive legs won against the throw, as van Barneveld’s second 180 helped him restore his two leg advantage before Thornton hit double top again to close the gap.
van Barneveld ensured he would get at least a draw when he pinned double ten but a wonderful 20, double 20, double 20 finish to clean up 100 left ‘The Thorn’ throwing for a share of the spoils.
And he claimed a point with a neat 78 checkout.
‘Barney’ takes on James Wade in Cardiff next week.
By Chris Murphy
Image Courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC