Watch Jonny Clayton's nine-darter below
Watch Jonny Clayton's nine-darter below

Darts results: Watch Jonny Clayton hit the 11th Premier League nine-darter against Jose de Sousa

Jonny Clayton hit the 11th nine-dart finish in Premier League history as he continued his incredible debut season with a 7-3 victory over Jose de Sousa.

The Ferret headed into his maiden campaign among the favourites for glory having already won three titles in 2021, including the televised Masters as a 150/1 outsider, and he's certainly living up to the hype and expectations with this latest highlight in just his third match.

Clayton, who opened up with an average of 105.56 in a 6-6 draw with Peter Wright before soundly brushing Glen Durrant aside on Tuesday night, was leading fellow debutant de Sousa 4-3 in a high-class showdown when he achieved perfection thanks to back-to-back 180s and a brilliant checkout of 141.

The Welsh World Cup winner was so unfazed by the moment of magic that he followed it up wit ha classy 11-darter to guarantee himself a point before completing the job with a 12-darter as he finished with an average of 105.26, five 180s and an astronomical checkout percentage of 77.78%.

A stunned De Sousa will be wondering how he lost by such a wide margin with a 108.48 average but his heavy scoring was let down by missing seven darts at doubles.

Clayton, who also hit his first televised nine-darter at the 2020 UK Open, is level on five points with Michael van Gerwen and Dimitri Van den Bergh at the top of the table and on this early evidence he'll be a real threat for the league leaders' bonus of ยฃ25,000 and the overall title prize of ยฃ250,000.

Premier League Nine-Dart Finishes

  • 2006 - Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Manley, Bournemouth
  • 2010 - Raymond van Barneveld v Terry Jenkins, Aberdeen
  • 2010 - Phil Taylor x2 v James Wade, Wembley (Final)
  • 2012 - Phil Taylor v Kevin Painter, Aberdeen
  • 2012 - Simon Whitlock v Andy Hamilton, London
  • 2016 - Adrian Lewis v James Wade, Belfast
  • 2017 - Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld, Liverpool
  • 2020 - Michael Smith v Daryl Gurney, Dublin
  • 2020 - Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney, Milton Keynes
  • 2021 - Jonny Clayton v Jose de Sousa, Milton Keynes

"I'm a happy man, it's brilliant," said a delighted Clayton. "I know my kids will have been bouncing around the house tonight watching that.

"It was a great game, Jose is a brilliant player. We've played each other a few times on tour and I knew I'd have to play my best to win and thankfully that's what I did.

"It's all going well for me at the moment. The darts are flowing nicely, my confidence is high and I'm enjoying it.

"I won't get ahead of myself though, my aim is still just to make sure I'm still in the competition after Judgement Night."

The night had begun with a repeat of the 2019 Premier League final, as Michael van Gerwen produced a vintage display in a convincing 7-3 defeat of Rob Cross.

Van Gerwen averaged 107.58 to mark a return to the type of form that saw him lift the Premier League title on five occasions.

The opening exchanges were tight, with Van Gerwen leading 4-3 after seven legs, before the world number two reeled off a hat-trick of legs in 15, 15 and 12 darts each, wrapping up the win with a 100 checkout.

"To win a game like this against Rob is good for my confidence," said Van Gerwen. "Things are starting to change for me in a positive way.

"Rob is a phenomenal player, you have to do the right things at the moments to beat him. I'm glad I was able to tonight.

"It's going better than last year but I need to make sure I keep this going now and keep towards my aim of winning my title back."

Peter Wright bounced back from a disappointing performance against the Dutchman with a 7-4 defeat of Gary Anderson.

Despite six 180s from Anderson, Wright regained his clinical edge on the outer ring, pinning seven of his 13 double attempts to come out on top in the clash of Scotland's 2019 World Cup of Darts winning teammates.

"I woke up today and I decided I needed to use these darts to straighten up my throw," Wright explained, having returned to the design of dart with which he won the World Championship.

"It's nice to get a win against Gary because he normally beats me!

"I think I've played the best three players first so it's been a tough start for me and I'm happy to get my first win on the board."

Van den Bergh sits top of the pile after his 7-0 whitewash of Glen Durrant heaped further misery on the reigning Premier League champion, who continued his torrid start to the season.

Durrant's 16 missed double attempts were duly punished by Van den Bergh, who like Clayton has picked up five points from six on offer so far.

Last year's runner-up Nathan Aspinall continued his return to form with a comfortable 7-4 victory over James Wade.

Aspinall's doubling was once again on point as he took a 6-2 lead, and though Wade rallied, Aspinall closed out victory with a 76 checkout.

2021 Premier League Darts Table

  1. Michael van Gerwen P 3 W 2 D 1 L 0 LegD +9 Pts 5
  2. Dimitri Van den Bergh P 3 W 2 D 1 L 0 LegD +9 Pts 5
  3. Jonny Clayton P 3 W 2 D 1 L 0 LegD +8 Pts 5
  4. Nathan Aspinall P 3 W 2 D 0 L 1 LegD +5 Pts 4
  5. Rob Cross P 3 W 1 D 1 L 1 LegD 0 Pts 3
  6. Gary Anderson P 3 W 1 D 1 L 1 LegD -1 Pts 3
  7. Peter Wright P 3 W 1 D 1 L 1 LegD -2 Pts 3
  8. Jose de Sousa P 3 W 0 D 1 L 2 LegD -6 Pts 1
  9. James Wade P 3 W 0 D 1 L 2 LegD -7 Pts 1
  10. Glen Durrant P 3 W 0 D 0 L 3 LegD -15 Pts 0
  • The top four after 16 games qualify for the end of season play-offs, where the title will be decided
  • Players earn two points for a win, and one for a draw.
  • When players are tied on points, leg difference is used first as a tie-breaker, after that legs won against throw and then tournament average.

Premier League Darts 2021: Wednesday results and Thursday schedule

Night 3, April 7
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Rob Cross 3-7 Michael van Gerwen
  • Glen Durrant 0-7 Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Peter Wright 7-4 Gary Anderson
  • Nathan Aspinall 7-4 James Wade
  • Jose de Sousa 3-7 Jonny Clayton ** JONNY CLAYTON HITS NINE-DARTER!

Night 4, April 8
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Peter Wright
  • Jonny Clayton v Rob Cross
  • Jose de Sousa v Nathan Aspinall
  • James Wade v Michael van Gerwen
  • Gary Anderson v Glen Durrant

Click here for the full Premier League Darts 2021 fixture list and season guide

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