Premier League Darts 2023: To secure back-to-back Premier League victories, Jonny Clayton upset a tenacious Peter Wright in a 6-5 final-leg decision in Birmingham.
Clayton was looking to shine after a significant victory in Berlin on Night Nine, and he did not disappoint. He responded to each of Wright’s two breaks of throws with two of his own before winning the tie-breaker on tops to move up to the third place.
Clayton’s consistency on the doubles throughout the evening was crucial; he averaged over 50%, taking his chances and capitalising on Wright, Michael van Gerwen, and Nathan Aspinall’s mistakes.
Wright had his most successful night in the 2023 Premier League thus far despite the defeat; in the previous nine nights, he had only won one game.
After another triumph, Clayton was more concerned with the points scored than with his overall effort.
“To be completely honest, I believe I am riding my luck,” remarked Clayton.
“I am fine. Not my finest darts, but winning games is the only thing that matters.
“All I can do is cross my fingers and hope for doubles. It appears that my doubling is good.
“Seeing myself back in the top four is amazing.
“I want to be there,” she said. Top four, Jonny Clayton, finals week.
After defeating Van Gerwen for the second time in succession, 6-4, Clayton guaranteed his place in the championship match.
Van Gerwen faltered on the doubles, but Clayton persevered, his 55% average on those games making all the difference.
In a tight 6-4 quarterfinal match against Nathan Aspinall, Clayton also took his chances when Aspinall was unable to follow up two consecutive peaks to square the match at 5-5.
Aspinall’s difficulties on the doubles were exposed when he couldn’t complete 51, and the Welshman pinned tops to win.
In the second semi-final of the evening, Wright displayed steely grit to battle against in-form Gerwyn Price and win 6-5.
Wright gained some confidence when a well-timed break of throw gave him a 4-2 advantage. He then managed to hold off the Welshman and pin D5 with his final match dart to secure the victory.
With six consecutive legs won in a 6-1 triumph over World Champion Michael Smith, he had earned just his second victory in the 2023 Premier League.
Smith struggled on the doubles, but the Scotsman was able to pin the bullseye twice with spectacular 116 and 125 checkouts.