Jonny Clayton beats fellow debutant Jose de Sousa to win Premier League title

Welshman Jonny Clayton was crowned Premier League champion after beating fellow debutant Jose De Sousa 11-5 in the final.

The World Cup winner and Masters champion – the victory which secured his entry into this tournament in January – became the first man to win the title from fourth place in the group stage, taking home a cheque for £250,000.

Earlier in the evening Clayton had knocked out five-time winner and Premier League leader Michael Van Gerwen 10-8, the first time the Dutchman had been beaten in a semi-final of the competition.

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“Absolutely phenomenal, thank you to everyone who believes in me, it means a lot,” Clayton, who only secured his place in the last four 24 hours earlier, told Sky Sports.

“Still back in work on Monday but seriously it’s absolutely massive. I love the game, I’m a lazy practicer but when I come up on here I try my very best.

“This means the absolute world to me. Wales is on the map, my little village is on the map.

“I have a few thank yous to all my sponsors who believe in me, my family, my kids, awesome.

“Most of all to the NHS who are willing to risk their health to save ours so thank you very very much, brilliant.”

Clayton never looked back having lost the first leg, opening up a 6-3 lead before being pegged back to 7-5 but from there he stepped up his game by closing out the next four legs for the title.

Jonny Clayton throwing a dart in the Premier League final
Jonny Clayton beat five-time winner Michael Van Gerwen on the way to his maiden Premier League title (Zac Goodwin/PA)

His semi-final with Van Gerwen was much closer as only once over the first 17 legs was there more than a one-leg advantage between them when Clayton went 6-4 up but the Welshman eventually secured a 10-8 victory in style with a 121 finish

De Sousa’s semi against Nathan Aspinall was just as tight, with the Portuguese behind for only one leg, the ninth, before kicking off the final leg with a maximum to edge out his opponent 10-9.