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Ladbrokes Masters Darts 2021 Day Three preview and order of play: First silverware of the season up for grabs

Jonny Clayton claims Ladbrokes Masters glory and final Premier League spot

Jamie Shaw in The Masters 01 Feb 2021
Clayton proudly lifts The Masters trophy (Photo by Chris Dean/PDC)

Jonny Clayton secured his first individual televised PDC title at the 2021 Ladbrokes Masters, defeating Mervyn King 11-8 in the final in Milton Keynes.

A World Cup winner for Wales alongside Gerwyn Price last year, Clayton’s landmark victory at the Marshall Arena also secures him a Premier League debut this season.

The world number 18 averaged 104 in the final and maintained the clinical finishing he displayed throughout the tournament to defeat King in a straight shoot-out for the final Premier League spot and first silverware of the season.

Clayton’s route to the final was a dramatic one which saw him come through last-leg deciders against Jose de Sousa, Michael van Gerwen, James Wade and Peter Wright.

The Welshman hit back from 5-3 down in the final to win eight of the next eleven legs and clinch the £60,000 first prize, denying King his first televised PDC title.

“To get over that winning line is an amazing feeling,” admitted Clayton.

“It wasn’t the best of matches, we’ve both played better in this tournament but that was to be expected given what was at stake.

“I was so glad I didn’t have to play another deciding leg. At one stage I thought Mervyn was going to take me all the way.

“He went to sleep for a couple of legs and I took advantage to go in front, from there I played pretty consistent.”

Clayton had a brief taste of the Premier League stage as a ‘Challenger’ in Cardiff in February 2020 but will now feature full-time in the star-studded line-up.

He added: “I was hoping for a place in the Premier League, but to hear it confirmed on stage after I won was amazing.

“I’m over the moon to be in it. I really am chuffed to bits.”

King began the final strongly, landing checkouts of 128 and 110 to take a 5-3 lead, but Clayton responded with a 136 finish on his way to taking the next six legs to go 9-5 ahead.

Back-to-back 80 checkouts saw King halve the deficit but it was to be Clayton’s day as the world number 18 closed out victory with a 12-dart leg.

“I can’t explain what happened because I haven’t got a clue,” admitted King, who was also the runner-up at the Players Championship Finals last November.

“One minute I felt right and the next I didn’t. It was very on and off. I started to fall asleep in the semis against Gerwyn and got away with it.

“I was just hoping hit maybe I could force a last leg but all credit to Jonny he played some cracking darts, fair play to him.

“Hopefully I’ll be back again fairly soon.”

Clayton fought back from 9-6 down to defeat James Wade 10-9 in the Quarter-Finals with a near-faultless display of finishing as he hit ten doubles from 11 attempts.

In the evening’s Semi-Finals, ‘The Ferret’ edged another last-leg shoot-out against defending Masters champion Wright with a 104 average.

King also prevailed 11-10 in the Last Four to halt the charge of world number one Price – who suffered his first defeat as World Champion.

King had seen off Nathan Aspinall in the Quarter-Finals with another strong display, which had seen him lead 9-0 before eventually closing out a 10-3 success.

Price averaged 105 as he defeated Adrian Lewis 10-6 in the Last Eight, while Wright overcame Dave Chisnall 10-5 after storming into an early 5-0 lead in their clash.

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Ladbrokes Masters 2021 Results

Sunday January 31

Afternoon Session

Quarter-Finals

Mervyn King 10-3 Nathan Aspinall
Gerwyn Price 10-6 Adrian Lewis
Peter Wright 10-5 Dave Chisnall
Jonny Clayton 10-9 James Wade

Evening Session

Semi-Finals

Gerwyn Price 10-11 Mervyn King
Peter Wright 10-11 Jonny Clayton

Final