Jonny Clayton is brilliant in Berlin to seal night 9 victory

In Berlin on Thursday, Jonny Clayton won his first nightly victory of the 2023 Cazoo Premier League by defeating Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price, and Michael Smith.

Clayton travelled to Berlin after suffering three consecutive quarterfinal losses, which was unwelcome, but he quickly turned things around and moved up to fifth place in the standings.

The Welshman began his campaign with a thrilling victory over Van Gerwen in the decisive leg, handing the defending champion his second quarterfinal loss of the year.

The 2021 champion then defeated fellow Welshman Price in the semifinals with a ton-plus average, denying his countryman a third straight nightly victory.

In the Night Nine finale, Clayton faced off against World Champion Smith, and he produced a devastating display of combination finishing to win the £10,000 winner’s bonus.

The 48-year-old won three straight legs to build a 3-1 lead, but Smith seized control by winning three straight legs of his own after the 48-year-old missed two darts at tops for a 4-1 advantage.

The world number one had levelled the match with an incredible 130 checkout in leg six, but two missed darts for a 5-3 advantage in leg eight ultimately changed the course of the match.

Clayton took advantage of Smith’s continued failure to hit doubles in leg nine, scoring an 85 on two darts to put himself within striking distance of victory.

Jonny Clayton is brilliant in Berlin to seal night 9 victory 
Jonny Clayton is brilliant in Berlin to seal night 9 victory  (PDC)

“I know I can do it. I rode my luck a few times, but it’s a nice feeling to get back to winning ways,” reflected Clayton, who topped last year’s league phase with four nightly wins.

“The last two weeks Gerwyn Price absolutely demolished me, and it was difficult.

“Michael [van Gerwen] didn’t play his game tonight, but I had to concentrate on my own game, and now I’ve got a smile on my face and a win under my belt.

“For some reason, my confidence was brilliant tonight. I felt comfortable and the crowd were absolutely fantastic.

“There is massive pressure every week, but tonight I’ve done the job and the table looks so much better. Hopefully I’m here until the end and I’m going to try my very best!”

Clayton was presented with a commemorative “Buddy Bear” by Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena to celebrate the title, and he added: “It’s a wonderful gift and it will look great in my trophy cabinet.

“It’s the most colourful thing I’ve won and will be a good memory of winning this night.”

Smith attempted to follow in the footsteps of Van Gerwen and Price this season by winning multiple nights in a row, but he was unable to repeat the feat in Germany.

Despite this, the St Helens star earned a crucial three points to overtake Nathan Aspinall and move into third place after suffering back-to-back losses to Chris Dobey in Newcastle and Nottingham.

The world number one defeated Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 in straight sets in his opening match before giving the performance of the evening to defeat Aspinall in the last four.

In leg four, Smith wired double 12 for the first nine-darter of the competition, and he continued in this hot form to advance with a 104 average and seven maximums.

In the other quarterfinal match on Thursday, Price easily defeated 2017 runner-up Peter Wright, reducing Van Gerwen’s lead at the top to five points.

The Welsh superstar overcame a shaky beginning to win with a 101 average, reeling off five straight legs to push Wright seven points further down the leaderboard.

Aspinall, meanwhile, advanced to his seventh semi-final in nine weeks with an outstanding 6-4 victory over Dobey, winning with an impressive average of over 103.

2023 Cazoo Premier League

Night Nine – Thursday March 30

Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin


Michael Smith 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh

Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Chris Dobey

Jonny Clayton 6-5 Michael van Gerwen

Gerwyn Price 6-3 Peter Wright



Michael Smith 6-4 Nathan Aspinall

Jonny Clayton 6-4 Gerwyn Price



Jonny Clayton 6-4 Michael Smith


Night Ten – Thursday April 6

Utilita Arena, Birmingham


Michael van Gerwen v Chris Dobey

Nathan Aspinall v Jonny Clayton

Dimitri Van den Bergh v Gerwyn Price

Peter Wright v Michael Smith