Jonny Clayton to face Michael van Gerwen in the Premier League’s last four

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Jonny Clayton claimed the final play-off place in the Premier League and set up a meeting with tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen by beating Dimitri van den Bergh on Thursday night.

Clayton triumphed 8-6 in the final contest of the night, with Van Gerwen having earlier sealed top spot with an 8-6 win over Peter Wright.

After Van den Bergh took a 1-0 lead Clayton turned on the style as he swiftly turned the tables, never again allowing the Belgian to get back on level terms.

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And after a strong finish, the Welshman sounded in bullish mood ahead of Friday’s showdown.

“I’m in the top four, let’s go,” he said on Sky Sports. “I’m not going to lose now. I’m here to win, it means so much to me. My first year in the Premier League, hopefully I can do it year after year. Probably the biggest game I’ve ever played in my life.”

Van Gerwen admitted he was not at his best as he passed up opportunities to finish off Wright earlier in the night, with all eyes now on Friday.

“I can’t really complain finishing with 23 points, I was coming from far so I had to work really hard on my game,” he said. “The tournament is not done yet, the most important day is tomorrow.

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“It’s always nice to beat Peter. The wasn’t a lot at stake but you still want to win the game to go into tomorrow. Everyone knows I’m a confident player and with crowds like this and everybody enjoying themselves again it makes me even hungrier.”

Clayton and Van Gerwen will now meet in the first semi-final on Friday night. The other last-four contest will match Jose de Sousa against Nathan Aspinall, and the Portuguese may well have the psychological advantage after beating Aspinall 8-3 on Thursday night.

De Sousa hit his 80th and 81st 180s of the tournament in a superb victory, breaking Gary Anderson’s record in the process.

The night began with an 8-6 win for James Wade over Anderson in a contest between two players who knew they could not advance.

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