PDC Home Tour: Clayton and Aspinall move through to Finals Night after high-quality Semi-Final Group Two
Jonny Clayton and Nathan Aspinall both progressed to Friday’s PDC Home Tour Championship Group after coming through a closely-fought Semi-Final Group Two.
On a night where four of the five matches went to deciding legs, Aspinall only just made it through with a group average of well over 100, while Rob Cross stepped it up from his previous Home Tour performances, but it wasn’t enough.
It was always going to be a high-quality evening with four of the world’s top 16 in action, and Joe Cullen got off to a flying start in the race to join Gary Anderson and Jelle Klaasen in the final group.
Cullen had been one of the stand-out performers earlier on in the event, and showed that form again against Cross to lead 3-1. ‘Voltage’ came back, but two consecutive 14-darters were enough for the Bradford thrower to win 6-4.
That was followed by one of the best games of the 40 days of Home Tour action, averages of 107 and 100 and only three darts at doubles missed.
Clayton and Aspinall produced the goods, but a win for the UK Open champion was never in significant doubt as he led all the way through. Two 12-darters and a 10-darter held off the Welshman as ‘The Asp’ joined Cullen on two points.
‘The Ferret’ had better fortunes in a last-leg decider against Cullen; after hanging in there without taking the lead once, he finished 101 to win 6-5 with a 90.5 average and keep his hopes alive.
World number seven Aspinall posted another huge average, this time against Cross, but the former World Champion was at his best to deny him.
‘The Asp’ held advantages of 2-0 and 3-1, but consistent scoring and finishing of legs in five visits got ‘Voltage’ back into it. Aspinall missed a match dart on 117 and Cross went out, meaning we were left with two straight shoot-outs with all four players having collected one win.
Aspinall got off to another good start against Cullen, pinning 127 for a 12-darter and a 2-0 lead, but Cullen pulled it back to 2-2.
It was yet another game where the player throwing first never surrendered that advantage, and Aspinall took out 52 in the decider to become the third man through to the Championship Group.
The night’s final contest was more one-sided as Clayton beat Cross 6-1 to join Aspinall in the final group, a 126 checkout the highlight.
Friday’s group should be a cracker with the champion set to be crowned after a month and a half of fantastic online action.
2020 PDC Home Tour Play-offs
Semi-Final Group 2
Rob Cross 4-6 Joe Cullen
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Joe Cullen 5-6 Jonny Clayton
Rob Cross 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Joe Cullen
Jonny Clayton 6-1 Rob Cross
Jonny Clayton comes out on top courtesy of that brilliant 6-1 win over Cross in the final game of the night.
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) June 4, 2020