Jonny Clayton produced a spectacular comeback as he defeated former champion James Wade in a last-leg decider to reach the semi-finals of the 2021 Ladbrokes Masters.
Clayton, fresh from his victory over Michael van Gerwen on Saturday evening, found himself 9-6 down and on the verge of going out, but dug deep to spark something very special to go on and pick up the victory.
World number one Gerwyn Price fought off a resilient Adrian Lewis to progress through and book his place in the next round after another ton-plus finish.
Mervyn King went close to whitewashing Nathan Aspinall during another fine performance, while current Masters champion Peter Wright makes up the semi-final line-up after beating Dave Chisnall.
Clayton stuns Wade to reach semi-finals
Two break of throws kick-started the entertaining affair, with Clayton replying with a 160 checkout during a 12-dart leg to level at 1-1.
Wade powered home two stunning 121 checkouts to go into the first interval 4-1 up, while Clayton come out after and had an 11-dart leg and then holding his throw to come back.
The Machine halted any momentum by winning the next three legs, which saw him go into the second interval with a 7-3 advantage in the game.
Clayton’s ton finish kept him alive in the game and he went on to reduce the deficit once more by rattling off three straight legs of his own. Nevertheless, Wade looked set to secure his place against Wright after stopping the Ferret’s run and going 9-6 up.
A stunning 121 checkout from Clayton made it 9-7 and the Welshman went on to force a deciding leg. Just as he did the previous night against van Gerwen, the Ferret held his nerve and took out a spectacular 126 finish – ending the game with a 105.41 average and 10/11 on the doubles.
Ruthless King sweeps aside Aspinall
King set the tone early in the game with a 15-dart leg first up before breaking the Aspinall’s throw twice to race into a 4-0 lead.
A 94 checkout sent the King into the first interval unscaved and with an average close to 110. A 13-dart leg to break Aspinall’s throw again was quickly followed up by a 15-dart leg to go 7-0 up as King continued his relentless approach.
The Asp, clearly frustrated, missed darts at the double to pull a leg back. King punished before Aspinall managed to make it 9-1 before the second interval.
It was a case of too little too late for Aspinall, who went on to win the next two legs – including an 11-dart leg straight after the interval – as King hit D20 to take a 10-3 win and finish with a ton-plus average for the third straight match at the Masters.
World champion Price through to semi-finals
After brushing aside Joe Cullen in the second round, Price picked up where he left off, winning the first three legs, with the latter being a 12-dart leg to move into an early lead.
The Iceman come out after the first interval and asserted himself further with a 10-dart leg to make it 6-1 before Lewis checked out a big 114 finish.
Price missed six darts at the double, which allowed Lewis to make it 8-5 with a 17-dart break of throw and Jackpot then finished on the bullseye for an 80 checkout.
An 11-dart and 13-dart leg followed for Price as he closed out on a 10-6 victory, finishing with an average of 105.54.
Wright's title defence continues after Chisnall victory
Wright broke against the Chisnall throw straight away and an 11-dart leg followed for the defending Masters champion.
Snakebite broke once again in the third leg, taking out a 140 finish and went into the first interval with a 5-0 lead.
Chisnall come out after the break and won three of the next four legs, but missed crucial darts at the double to make it 6-4 and Wright punished to go into the second interval with a 7-3 advantage.
Despite Chizzy trying to claw his was back into the game, Wright’s scoring power on his own throw was relentless. Snakebite, with an average of 104.72, threw an 11-dart leg to go within one before finishing off to progress to the semi-finals.