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Premier League Darts: Night Six – Liverpool

It was only a few weeks ago that Jonny Clayton was playing so poorly he joked he tried to throw his darts in the bin – but missed.

Ranked seventh in the PDC Order of Merit, The Ferret could hardly sniff a win and was laying bottom-but-one in the Cazoo Premier League Darts table.

But the Welsh darter will travel to Liverpool for Night Six of the competition with renewed optimism after reaching his first final at Night Five in Exeter last week.

Clayton eventually lost in the final to Michael van Gerwen, who is currently proving to be different Dutch gravy at the top of the table, with back-to-back victories.

Van Gerwen will be looking for a hat-trick at the M&S Banks Arena, but Clayton reckons he has turned a corner.

“I was pleased to reach the final last week and find some form,” said the Pontyberem star who won the Premier League title in 2021.

“I am trying to get to No.1 That’s the aim. If I don’t, then it won’t be for the lack of trying.

“I would love to follow Gezzy (former world champion Gerwyn Price). Gezzy was the first Welsh No.1 and hopefully I can be the second. One day, you never know.”

Clayton moved up two places to fifth courtesy of picking up three league points in Exeter thanks to victories over Peter Wright – who is yet to get off the mark – and Dimitri Van den Bergh.

Van Gerwyn dominated in the final and the league leader insisted: “I still didn’t think I was at my best but I was at my best when I had to be.”

Price, however, just couldn’t find his finishing power and went out in the quarter-final stage after losing 6-3 to Van Gerwen. The Ice Man was frozen out as he lost four legs in a row.

In Liverpool, Clayton will start with a quarter-final showdown against the runaway leader, Van Gerwen.

Price has a more comfortable-looking first crack at the struggling Wright.

The other two quarter-finals see Chris Dobey up against Nathan Aspinall, with world champion Michael Smith taking on Dimitri Van den Bergh.

There had been speculation that Clayton might even consider a return to his day job as a Carmarthenshire plasterer if his form failed to improve.

He insisted that reducing his schedule was far more likely than quitting darts altogether but he admitted: “I do miss my old friends at work.

“I’m not thinking about going back, but darts is my job now and I need to make money.”

Night 6 in Liverpool: Thursday, 9 March


Gerwyn Price v Peter Wright

Michael van Gerwen v Jonny Clayton

Chris Dobey v Nathan Aspinall

Michael Smith v Dimitri van den Bergh

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