Jonny Clayton produced a fantastic performance to win the Premier League Darts title for the first time.
The Ferret came through a brilliant semi final against Michael van Gerwen 10-8, before defeating Jose De Sousa 11-5 in the final to lift the trophy in Milton Keynes.
Ferret begins strong in final
Clayton put pressure on the De Sousa throw right from the off in the final. He left 36 after 12, but De Sousa found a 44 shot to hold his throw. A lovely 121 checkout on the bullseye from The Ferret saw him level at 1-1.
It was the Welshman who’d find the first break of throw. After De Sousa missed a dart at 16s inside, and then bust on the next visit, Clayton found double nine to move 2-1 in front. Both missed a dart at the bull to take the fourth, but The Ferret cleaned up 25 to increase his lead to two.
Both players held again, but The Ferret found another break in the seventh. A 180 left him on 36, and when De Sousa could not find a 148, he hit double 18 to go 5-2 in front. The Special One would not go down without a fight, going 180,140,165 to leave 16 after nine. He then capped it off with a double eight to trail 5-3.
Once again, Clayton went three clear, hitting tops for another break. However, De Sousa once again answered, this time hitting an 11 darter on tops to trail by two going into the interval.
Clayton powers to Premier League win
The Special One, who outlasted Nathan Aspinall in the semi finals earlier in the evening, had a chance to cut the gap to one after the break. However, he missed four darts to do so, and Clayton eventually punished, hitting double 12 for a 98th checkout. Once again though, on The Ferret’s throw, The Special One attacked, and found a 12 darter to cut the gap to one.
A seventh straight break of throw followed, as the Welshman hit double eight to go 8-5 ahead. After seven straight breaks, a crucial checkout followed in the 14th leg. With De Sousa on 54, Clayton found an 80 outshot on double 10 with his last dart, finally holding the double break and increasing his lead to four.
This seemed to break The Special One’s heart, and finally be the moment where Clayton would take control. A 15 darter on double 16 got him a double break, before missing double 16 for a 112 to win the match in the next. De Sousa then squandered a dart at bullseye to stay alive, and after missing another at 16s, The Ferret hit double eight to be crowned the champion. He’s the first player ever to win the title having finished fourth in the regular season.
2021 Premier League Darts Finals Night Results
Jonny Clayton 11-5 Jose De Sousa
Jonny Clayton 10-8 Michael van Gerwen
Jose De Sousa 10-9 Nathan Aspinall