Glasgow: the second Scottish night of the PDC Darts Premier League
Following a quick detour to Dublin (seeing James Wade winning his second night of this season) Scotland welcomes back the world's top eight dart players in the OVO Hydro Arena
live from Glasgow is Isti Miskolczy
Jonny Clayton won night 13 of the PDC Cazoo Premier League Darts on the 5th of May, a Thursday seeing Glasgow go crazy over not only darts but also Rangers reaching the Europe League finals.
The Welshman defeated "Mighty" Michael Van Gerwen of the Netherlands in the final 6:3.
With that "The Ferret" also confirmed his place in the play-offs in Berlin in June.
His quest of defending his 2021 Premier League Darts title continues.
Accordingly, the evening atmosphere around the OVO Hydro Arena (and Inbrox Stadium) was buzzing even hours before the games began with free T-shirts being thrown off the stage and a 9-dart challenge taking place between two winners of the prize competition of the title sponsor.
Statue of the Duke of Wellington in Glasgow city centre on the 5th of May
Photo courtesy of Isti Miskolczy
The world's - arguably - eight best darts players have arrived at Glasgow with Jonny Clayton topping the league table with 29 points followed by Michael Van Gerwen with 25 points in second and James Wade with also 25 points in third. As for the Scottish players, Peter Wright remained fourth with 20 points after only gaining two points in Aberdeen and zero in Dublin, and Gary Anderson remained last in the standings. Between them was Joe Cullen in fifth, Gerwyn Price in sixth, and Michael Smith in seventh place with 15, 13, and 10 points respectively.
Just to reiterate, every night of this eighteenth edition of the tournament sees the same eight players playing off in quarter-finals, semi-finals, and a final with all games lasting until one of the players wins 6 legs. Points are awarded to the semi-finalists and the finalists. As further motivation, each night's winner gets to walk away with 10.000 pounds of prize money.
First quarter-final: Peter Wright 2:6 Gary Anderson
Night 13 jumped right into the action with the two Scotsmen facing off each other at the very beginning with Gary Anderson desperately needing to gain points to keep his hopes of reaching the final four alive. "The Flying Scotsman" began with a 110 checkout and with that a 0:1 break which was soon extended to 0:2. Wright got back to 1:2, but Anderson climbed away 1:4 before "Snakebite" could win another leg (2:4). Gary then wrapped up the game 2:6 and with that earned crucial points and kept his mathematical chance of reaching the top four spots of the standings alive.
180 thrown: Wright: 1 / Anderson: 2
Average: Wright: 87.10 / Anderson: 97.21
Second quarter-final: Jonny Clayton 6:2 James Wade
The replay of last week's final between the winners of the last two nights (Clayton in Aberdeen and Wade in Dublin) started with the Welshman's 3:0 lead. Then each player won the legs they threw first in until Clayton won leg 8 against the throw and set the final score 6:2. This was their 6th match against each other in this Premier League season with both of them winning three times so far.
180 thrown: Clayton: 1 / Wade: 1
Average: Clayton: 95.55 / Wade: 93.10
Jonny Clayton (right) and James Wade (left) / Photo courtesy of Steve Welsh/PDC
Third quarter-final: Gerwyn Price 3:6 Michael Smith
Followed by a return to his old "Ice Ice Baby" walk-on song, Gerwyn Price quickly wrapped up the first leg by including a 177 and a 180 throw as well, though, Michael Smith, still chasing his first Premier League night victory in this season came back 1:1 and eventually won a leg against the throw modifying the score to 1:2. "Bully Boy" further extended his lead to 1:3 but "The Iceman" climbed back to 2:3. In the 6th leg, Smith hit the corner of D15 instead of D10 when he had 20 left but since Price did not manage to capitalize on this, he eventually checked out 2:4. "The Iceman" was not particularly welcomed by the crowd, he even roared back at them when winning leg 7 (3:4). However, from then, Smith quickly wrapped up the game 3:6.
180 thrown: Price: 1 / Smith: 2
Average: Clayton: 94.50 / Smith: 99.19
Fourth quarter-final: Michael Van Gerwen 6:5 Joe Cullen
The fresh winner of the Austrian Darts Open quickly grabbed the lead 1:0 and later even threw six perfect darts (180, 180) in leg 4, bringing the score to 3:1. In leg 6 MVG had the opportunity to complete a 167 checkout but eventually missing the Bullseye was punished by Cullen (4:2). Despite missing multiple leg darts, Van Gerwen extended his lead to 5:2. The "Rockstar" then, however, completed an incredible comeback to 5:5 but the Dutchman kept his cool and won the final leg of the game (6:5).
180 thrown: MVG: 6 / Cullen: 2
Average: MVG: 98.36 / Cullen: 90.59
First semi-final: Gary Anderson 4:6 Jonny Clayton
Celebrating Gary Anderson reaching the semi-finals, the Scottish fans displayed their flags and voice with the latter including not only cheering Anderson but also whistling at Clayton. The first semi-final was very tight up until 2-2 when "The Ferret" won a leg against the throw and then his own start (2:3 and then 2:4). From then on each player won a leg one by one including not only some remarkable 100+ checkouts (115 and 110 for Anderson and 116 for Clayton) but also some darts of Gary Anderson bouncing out. This eventually resulted in Clayton reaching the final first with the final score of 4:6.
180 thrown: Anderson: 0 / Clayton: 3
Average: Anderson: 89.15 / Clayton: 98.53
Gary Anderson / Photo courtesy of Steve Welsh/PDC
Second semi-final: Michael Smith 5:6 Michael Van Gerwen
MVG started the second semi-final with a break (0:1) but Smith broke back at 2:1 bringing up the score to 2:2. "Bully Boy" then grabbed the lead 4:2 but with a 108 checkout in a leg against the throw Van Gerwen started to climb back (4:3 and eventually 4:4). Then, after 5:5 the deciding leg saw MVG checking out 104 and winning the game 5:6. As such, Smith's quest to win a night still continues.
180 thrown: Smith: 4 / MVG: 2
Average: Smith: 100.01 (highest average of the night) / MVG: 99.04
Final: Jonny Clayton 6:3 Michael Van Gerwen
Including this, Jonny Clayton reached his third consecutive and sixth overall Premier League night final in 2022 following Cardiff, Liverpool, Birmingham, Aberdeen, and Dublin out of whom he managed to win four. MVG also appeared in six finals so far but only came out on top in two of them (Exeter and Leeds). This was the sixth time in total and the second final overall in which these two players met in the 2022 Premier League season. Jonny Clayton started the game with a 180 and then quickly grabbed and preserved the lead 1:0 1:1 2:1 2:2 and 3:2. Six perfect darts resulted in Van Gerwen being able to catch up to 3:3, however, from then on Clayton dominated the game and secured not only the top spot of night 13 but also the 10.000 pounds of prize money and his place in the play-offs.
180 thrown: Clayton: 4 / MVG: 3
Average: Clayton: 99.81 / MVG: 96.41
Jonny Clayton winning night 13 (Glasgow) of the PDC Cazoo Premier League Darts
Photo courtesy of Steve Welsh/PDC
Speaking to The Gaudie on securing his place in the play-offs and on who he thinks is also going to be there, Clayton revealed that whoever he will play against it will be a difficult match.
"There is no easy game. [...] The four that are there now are going to be hard to change" - Clayton added.
Following night 13 the order of the standings has not, only the numbers of points of the players have changed. With only three nights left until the play-offs in Berlin, however, players not in the top four will really need to start catching up. They will have the opportunity to do so in Sheffield next week.