Unibet Premier League Play Offs
Jonny Clayton won his second major ranking title with an 11-5 win over Jose de Sousa to lift the Unibet Premier League title.
Jonny Clayton sensationally claimed the 2021 Unibet Premier League title in his debut year as he defeated Michael van Gerwen and Jose de Sousa in Friday’s Play-Offs in Milton Keynes.
Clayton, who took the last remaining Play-Off place the previous night, took to the stage as underdog and walked off of it as champion after sealing an 11-5 win over De Sousa in the final.
Having only confirmed his spot in the field after winning The Masters in January, the Welshman first defeated Van Gerwen before going on to take the title in front of a sold out crowd at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
Clayton knocked out five-time champion Van Gerwen to set up an all-debutant final for a second successive year against De Sousa, who had defeated Nathan Aspinall in a last-leg decider in the other semi-final.
The deciding match of the 2021 Premier League began with Clayton taking the early initiative, checking out 121 on the bull before breaking the De Sousa throw and consolidating with a hold of his own to take a 3-1 lead.
The pair then traded holds before Clayton was able to break again in the seventh leg to move 5-2 in front, taking out 36 for a 13-dart leg. This seemingly inspired the Portuguese who regained one of the breaks immediately after a ten-dart leg to give himself hope.
Then, with the score at 6-4, Grand Slam Champion De Sousa missed four darts at a double to close the gap to one before Clayton took his opportunity and pinned double 12 to move a step closer to the title in his first season in the Premier League.
De Sousa did manage to break back immediately once again as he pulled the score back to 7-5 but time was running out for the 47-year-old.
Despite appearing to give ‘The Special One’ hope, amazingly that would be the last leg he would win as Clayton strung together a run of four consecutive legs to win the title and the £250,000 top prize.
Speaking after the match the match the 46-year-old spoke of his pride after becoming the first Welshman to win the Premier League.
PLAY OFFS – Friday May 28th
(101.97) Michael van Gerwen 8-10 Jonny Clayton (103.25)
(98.21) Jose de Sousa 10-9 Nathan Aspinall (95.93)
(100.53) Jose de Sousa 5-11 Jonny Clayton (100.18)