Jonny Clayton (9/2 Premier League Outright) held his nerve on Thursday, beating Dimitri Van den Bergh, to complete the line-up for the Premier League Darts play-offs.
Michael van Gerwen (13/10 fav Premier League Outright), Jose de Sousa (11/4) and Nathan Aspinall (4/1) were already guaranteed a semi-final spot heading into Thursday’s final round of fixtures, with Clayton and Van den Bergh left to battle it out for the last remaining place.
Clayton started the evening in fourth, ahead of Van den Bergh on leg difference, and required just a draw to advance, but he went one better and sealed an 8-6 triumph.
It’s a remarkable achievement for Clayton in his maiden Premier League campaign but now he faces a tricky task in trying to halt five-time champion Van Gerwen (Match Betting – Michael van Gerwen 8/15, Jonny Clayton 6/4).
“To reach the play-offs in my first year in the Premier League, I’m delighted to have got over the line,” he said.
“Hopefully I can do this year after year, but I’ve got nothing to lose now. I’m here to win like everybody else, I just need to two more wins.
“The crowd were superb, their support means so much to me.”
In two meetings during the regular Premier League campaign, Clayton and Van Gerwen earned a victory apiece, while the Welshman has won three of his last four encounters with the world number three.
Victory for MVG will see him match Phil Taylor’s record for six Premier League title triumphs, while the remaining three contenders are all seeking a first victory in the competition.
Aspinall, who lost the 2020 final to Glen Durrant, takes on debutant De Sousa in the other semi-final (Match Betting – Jose de Sousa 4/7, Nathan Aspinall 7/5).
Source: Darts – Betfred