World Matchplay Darts: Jonny Clayton wins thriller to set up final against Nathan Aspinall | Darts news

Johnny Clayton takes on Nathan Aspinall in the final We return to the Women’s World matchplay from 1pm on Sunday – live on Sky Sports Action from 8pm – before the last two men battle it out for the Phil Taylor Trophy

0:15, UK, Sunday 23 July 2023

Jonny Clayton came through a marathon World Matchplay clash with Luke Humphries to set up a final meeting with Nathan Aspinall.

Welshman Clayton came through an epic encounter to seal his place in Sunday’s showpiece, winning 10-7 to 17-15.

Aspinall, meanwhile, ran out a convincing 17-9 winner against Joe Cullen in the opening game of the evening, the Yorkshireman punishing a poor display to keep his title alive.

World Matchplay Semi-Finals: Saturday, July 22

Joe Cullen 9-17 By Nathan Aspin
Johnny Clayton 17-15 Luke Humphries

Watch the moment Jonny Clayton beats Luke Humphries to book his place in the World Matchplay Final

With little separating the two players at the Winter Gardens arena, Clayton’s higher checkout percentage proved the difference.

The 48-year-old, who helped lead Wales to a second World Cup of Darts title alongside Kerwin Price in Frankfurt last month, will be looking for his first major title in 2021 after winning the Masters, Premier League and World Grand Prix.

„It means a lot to me,” reflected Clayton, who averaged just under 99 and double-doubled 61 percent of his attempts to end Humphries’ hopes of a 10-game losing streak.

„It’s an amazing feeling to cross the line against one of the best players in the world. Luke Humphries is going to go on and pick up the majors time and time again!

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“I had to dig deep but you have to take your chances and that’s what I did and hopefully I can lift this trophy tomorrow.

Clayton says he will have no help when he faces Nathan Aspinall in the final

Aspinall, who lost in both the Grand Slam and Grand Prix finals last year, will aim to go one better after getting past Cullen.

A 17-9 win showed his superiority, while Cullen’s 148 check out to break in the seventh leg proved a false dawn for the 34-year-old.

Instead, Aspinall played clear and looked nothing like slipping up as they progressed to Sunday’s final.

Aspinall looks certain to be undefeated in Sunday night’s final

„Joe didn’t play well, I wasn’t near my best but I think I was a bit more clinical and that’s why I got over the line,” said Aspinall, who scored 95 and made 11 runs.

“I’ve lost my last three [televised] Finals. I’m not going to do it again. I am very confident.

„I had a bad game tonight, but I’m over the line. I’m a happy guy now and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Clayton and Aspin have been locked in a fascinating battle for play-off qualification in this year’s Premier League and will now renew their battle for the £200,000 top prize and the Bill Taylor Trophy.

“Nathan and I were involved in a scrap for the Premier League [Play-Offs] This year and Gezzy Price helped me. I have no help tomorrow night. I have to get the job done, and I can do it with fingers,” Clayton said.

Join us on Sunday to see who will win the World Matchplay Finals

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Women’s World Cup: Sunday 23 July

Beau Greaves vs Noah Lynn Van Leeuwen
Robin Byrne vs Rhian O’Sullivan
Mikuru Suzuki vs Eileen de Graaf
Fallen Sherak vs Lisa Ashton

Beau Greaves will build her Blackpool bow at the Women’s World No.1 following her dominance over the past 12 months, and she will open her challenge against Dutch debutant Nova-Lynn van Leeuwen.

The £25,000 event features the top eight players on a one-year Order of Merit based on PTC Women’s Series earnings from the 20 matches since last August.

The best-of-eight matches start this Sunday, and you can catch the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals all in one sitting on Women’s World Matchplay.

Ireland’s Robin Byrne takes on Welsh ace Ryan O’Sullivan before Japanese trailblazer Mikuru Suzuki takes on last year’s finalist Aileen de Graaf.

Defending champion Fallon Sherock will face darting legend Lisa Ashton in the quarter-finals.

Before the final two men battle it out for the Bill Taylor Trophy, we come to the Women’s World Matchplay live on Sky Sports Action from 1pm on Sunday at the iconic Winter Garden – live on Sky Sports Action from 8pm. Stream Women’s World Matchplay and more now for £21 a month

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