The cream has risen to the top on the PDC Home Tour, as two world champions, a former UK Open winner and a three-time PDC title winner will compete in Friday night’s final.
Nathan Aspinall and Jonny Clayton came through the second semi-final ahead of Joe Cullen and Rob Cross, to join Gary Anderson and Jelle Klaasen in the ultimate stage.
There was incredible drama on what was undoubtedly the highest-quality night of the tournament thus far.
The first four matches of the evening fell in such a way that the last two clashes were de facto knockout games, with Aspinall edging Cullen and Clayton stunning Cross to take the spoils.
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Cullen got off to the perfect start, overcoming Cross 6-4. ‘The Rockstar’ fired in seven 180s in the 10 legs, averaging 99 in a deserved victory. Nonetheless, Voltage hung in there and refused to wilt, and despite being outclassed wasn’t far away at the finish, missing darts at double to force a deciding leg.
Aspinall and Clayton then served up a stunning match – arguably the best contest of the PDC Home Tour to date. The former UK Open champ set the tone early with a 10-darter, and the standard remained sky-high throughout. Indeed, what ultimately was the difference was that the Asp had thrown first. He sealed a 6-5 victory, averaging 107 compared to the Ferret’s 100.
However, the Welshman quickly bounced back and this time he was the one to prevail in a last-leg decider as he held his nerve on a 101 checkout. It was a perfectly-timed run from Clayton, who had trailed the entire match.
The all-Premier League meeting between Cross and Aspinall didn’t disappoint as the stunning standards continued. The Stockport man stormed into a 3-1 lead, with three ton-plus finishes. However, Voltage rallied and sealed a 6-5 victory, hitting a 107.5 average. Aspinall averaged 105 in defeat.
Remarkably, all players were on one-win apiece heading into the last two games, with just two legs in scoring difference separating top from bottom.
That all meant that the last two matches were winner-takes-all clashes.
First up was Aspinall vs Cullen. Fittingly, it went right down to the wire. Cullen hit the ‘big fish’ to level it at 2-2 halfway through the contest, and it eventually went down to just one leg. Aspinall had the throw at 5-5, and although the Rockstar opened with a maximum, the Asp held his nerve to get over the line.
And while the favourite prevailed in the first shootout, there was an upset in the second. The world No 4 was left shell-shocked, as Clayton dug deep to produce his best arrows to win 6-1 and seal his final berth.
Watch finals night of the PDC Home Tour live on the Sky Sports app from 7.30pm on Friday.
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