Jonny Clayton is the Premier League champion (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Jonny Clayton is the Premier League champion (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Darts results: Jonny Clayton wins the Premier League Darts title on debut after beating Michael van Gerwen and Jose de Sousa on Finals Night


Jonny Clayton won the Premier League Darts title after defeating regular season table-topper Michael van Gerwen and fellow debutant Jose de Sousa on a dramatic Finals Night in Milton Keynes.

Not only is he the first Welsh champion of the event in its 17-year history but he's also the first player to lift the prestigious trophy after finishing in fourth position in the standings.

His career-changing winners' cheque of ยฃ250,000 also means he's pocketed a massive ยฃ310,000 of unranked prize money in 2021 having previously won his maiden individual TV title at the Masters back in January - an event he only qualified for because it was expanded to 24 players for the first time.

By triumphing in Milton Keynes on that weekend - coincidentally beating both MVG and de Sousa along the way - he earned his first ever call-up to the Premier League and now he's capped his dream debut with the biggest victory of his career.

Clayton, who has gone from strength to strength since lifting the World Cup with Gerwyn Price last year, has now won four titles overall this season - three more than anyone else - so to say his world ranking of 17 is a false position is some understatement right now.

The 46-year-old only just scraped into the Play-Offs courtesy of his victory over fifth-placed Dimitri Van den Bergh 24 hours earlier but having finished just five points behind MVG and two behind de Sousa, there was no doubt he'd be a major threat on Finals Night.

And so it proved, first defeating the five-time champion 10-8 with an average of 103.25 and a stunning checkout percentage of 62.5% before taming the entertaining 'Special One' 11-5 thanks largely to another clinical display on the outer ring.

Clayton, who averaged 100.18 compared to de Sousa's 100.53 and hit six of the 13 180s in the match, pinned 11 of his attempts at doubles as well as firing in the highest checkout of 121 while his opponent missed 11 of his 16.

The former rugby player always looked in control of the contest when a pair of 13-darters put him 5-2 and 6-3 ahead, and although de Sousa would show glimpses of his magic - such as a 100 checkout to complete an 11 darter in leg 10 - he never really looked fazed by the pressure.

It could have been closer had last year's Grand Slam of Darts champion not spurned four darts at a double when trailing 6-4 but despite responding with a fine 12-darter in the next, he only managed to get one more dart to win a leg and that came in the 16th when missing the bullseye before Clayton's crowning moment.

โ€œIโ€™ve put Wales on the map again and itโ€™s just so incredible to be here and win this event,โ€ said an emotional Clayton. โ€œWeโ€™re so lucky to have been playing over what has been such a difficult time for everyone.

โ€œJose is such a great player and I just tried to keep my cool and get over the line, Iโ€™m just so happy.โ€

The 47-year-old from Portugal star can still hold his head high after an incredible debut campaign of his own which featured a nine-darter, a record-breaking haul of 96 maximums, 'that' tops-tops-tops checkout last night and a runners-up cheque of ยฃ120,000.

โ€œI proved again that I am โ€˜The Special Oneโ€™,โ€ said a humble De Sousa. โ€œThis crowd is so amazing and I just want to say thank you to everyone who supported us.

โ€œIt was a tough final and well done to Jonny for becoming the Champion.โ€

Premier League Final: Jonny Clayton 11-5 Jose de Sousa

  • Averages: 100.18 - 100.53
    100+: 22 - 19
    140+: 9 - 10
    180s: 6 - 7
    Checkout Percentage: 55% (11/20) - 31.25% (5/16)
    100+ Checkouts: 1 - 1
    High Checkout: 121 - 100

Semi-final One: Michael van Gerwen 8-10 Jonny Clayton

  • Averages: 101.97 - 103.25
    100+: 22 - 28
    140+: 12 - 17
    180s: 3 - 3
    Checkout Percentage: 57.14% (8/14) - 62.5% (10/16)
    100+ Checkouts: 2 - 2
    High Checkout: 140 - 127

Jonny Clayton reached the Premier League Darts final on debut thanks to a pulsating 10-8 victory over favourite Michael van Gerwen at a sell-out Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

The Ferret produced a mesmerising display of finishing throughout an epic showdown, pinning nine of his 15 attempts at doubles before completing the job in style with a stunning 121 checkout.

Welsh World Cup winner Clayton, who beat MVG en route to winning his maiden individual televised tournament at the Masters back in January, will now face Nathan Aspinall or fellow debutant Jose de Sousa later tonight for the prestigious trophy and a life-changing cheque of ยฃ250,000.

It was MVG's first ever defeat in the semi-finals of this tournament having reached this stage on eight occasions as the regular season table-topper but his quest for a sixth title is now over despite an impressive showing of his own.

Clayton averaged 103.25 compared to the Dutchman's 101.97 while both men threw three 180s apiece and a pair of 100+ checkouts each, including a crowd-pleasing 140 finish from MVG featuring two double tops.

Van Gerwen wasn't wasteful on the outer ring either and only missed six darts at double but his scoring suddenly deserted him after moving 8-7 up and never had another attempt at a checkout.

Semi-final Two: Jose de Sousa 10-9 Nathan Aspinall

  • Averages: 98.67 - 95.93
    100+: 21 - 16
    140+: 12 - 15
    180s: 8 - 4
    Checkout Percentage: 40.91% (9/22) - 41.86% (9/21)
    100+ Checkouts: 2 - 0
    High Checkout: 121 - N/A

Jose de Sousa emulated Jonny Clayton and reached the Premier League Darts final on debut debut after holding his nerve to see off Nathan Aspinall in a deciding leg.

The Special One, who produced 'that' 120 checkout during an 8-3 win over the Asp last night and also broke the record for most 180s in a regular season campaign, entertained the crowd once again with eight maximums and a pair of 100+ checkouts but his trademark comical miscounting almost cost him dear.

Twice he gifted Aspinall legs to level up a cracking clash 2-2 and 4-4 when aiming at the wrong segments and had last year's runner-up managed to play fractionally closer to his best than he did, it could have been a different story.

However, there was nothing wrong with De Sousa's counting in the 19th leg as he produced a stunning visit of 171 from 195 to leave 24, which he took out in two darts with Aspinall waiting on 53 to pinch it.

It's the second year in a row that two debutants will contest the final after Glen Durrant overcame Aspinall back in October 2020, with De Sousa bidding for his second major title having won the Grand Slam of Darts in November.

Clayton has won six of their previous eight encounters, including a 7-3 victory on night three, but De Sousa did win their most recent clash earlier this week via an 8-5 scoreline.

Premier League Darts Play-Offs: Results and statistics

Semi-Finals (Best of 19 legs)

  • Michael van Gerwen 8-10 Jonny Clayton
    Averages: 101.97 - 103.25
    100+: 22 - 28
    140+: 12 - 17
    180s: 3 - 3
    Checkout Percentage: 57.14% (8/14) - 62.5% (10/16)
    100+ Checkouts: 2 - 2
    High Checkout: 140 - 127
  • Jose de Sousa 10-9 Nathan Aspinall
    Averages: 98.67 - 95.93
    100+: 21 - 16
    140+: 12 - 15
    180s: 8 - 4
    Checkout Percentage: 40.91% (9/22) - 41.86% (9/21)
    100+ Checkouts: 2 - 0
    High Checkout: 121 - N/A

Final (Best of 21 legs)

  • Jonny Clayton 11-5 Jose de Sousa
    Averages: 100.18 - 100.53
    100+: 22 - 19
    140+: 9 - 10
    180s: 6 - 7
    Checkout Percentage: 55% (11/20) - 31.25% (5/16)
    100+ Checkouts: 1 - 1
    High Checkout: 121 - 100

2021 Premier League Darts Table

  1. Michael van Gerwen P 16 W 10 D 3 L 3 LegD +24 Pts 23
  2. Jose de Sousa P 16 W 8 D 4 L 4 LegD +20 Pts 20
  3. Nathan Aspinall P 16 W 7 D 5 L 4 LegD +15 Pts 19
  4. Jonny Clayton P 16 W 8 D 2 L 6 LegD +7 Pts 18
  5. Dimitri Van den Bergh P 16 W 6 D 4 L 6 LegD 0 Pts 16
  6. James Wade P 16 W 5 D 5 L 6 LegD -3 Pts 15
  7. Peter Wright P 16 W 6 D 3 L 7 LegD -8 Pts 15
  8. Gary Anderson P 16 W 5 D 3 L 8 LegD -13 Pts 13
  9. Rob Cross P 9 W 3 D 1 L 5 LegD -3 Pts 7 (ELIMINATED)
  10. Glen Durrant P 9 W 0 D 0 L 9 LegD -39 Pts 0 (ELIMINATED)

CLICK HERE FOR OUR FULL TOURNAMENT GUIDE INCLUDING RESULTS, TABLE & HISTORY

Premier League Darts 2021: Regular Season Statistics

Averages

  • Van den Bergh: 100.10
  • De Sousa: 99.78
  • Clayton: 99.21
  • Wade: 98.70
  • Van Gerwen: 98.49
  • Anderson: 97.78
  • Aspinall: 97.30
  • Wright: 96.21
  • Cross: 95.78
  • Durrant: 86.36

180s

  • De Sousa: 81
  • Van den Bergh: 72
  • Aspinall: 59
  • Anderson: 58
  • Clayton: 50
  • Wright: 47
  • Wade: 44
  • Van Gerwen: 39
  • Cross 29
  • Durrant 6

Checkout Percentage

  • Wade: 48.95%
  • Cross: 44.55%
  • Aspinall: 43.10%
  • De Sousa: 42.80%
  • Wright: 42.03%
  • Van Gerwen: 41.53%
  • Van den Bergh: 41.48%
  • Clayton: 38.46%
  • Anderson: 38.29%
  • Durrant: 30%

Most 100+ checkouts (Highest in brackets)

  • Van Gerwen: 23 (148)
  • Van den Bergh: 15 (164)
  • Clayton: 14 (150)
  • Wade: 14 (161)
  • Aspinall: 14 (161)
  • Wright: 12 (161)
  • Anderson: 11 (156)
  • De Sousa: 6 (141)
  • Cross: 2 (118)
  • Durrant: 4 (121)

Nine-dart finishes

Premier League Darts Past Finals & Winners

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