Joe Cullen produced one of the performances of his career and one of the biggest surprises in Premier League darts history by routing Jonny Clayton in the first play-offs semi-final in Berlin.
Having comfortably topped the league phase, Clayton was favourite to retain the tournament he won last year, but the Ferret never got going. That was partially down to the immediate pressure applied by Cullen, who is showing he is a man for a big occasion after beating world champion Peter Wright last month to clinch his place in the play-offs.
It took Cullen 16 hours to get to the German capital due to flight delays and cancellations, but the Bradford thrower looked completely unruffled, racing into a 6-0 lead in the first-to-10 clash.
There was a mini rally from a strangely out-of-sorts Clayton, who stemmed the tide by winning four legs, but never got back to win five of Cullen. There was a little wobble from the Rockstar in the 13th leg when he missed four match darts, but he made no mistake in the next leg, as he nailed double top to close out a 10-4 victory.
Clinical in the doubles (mostly), heavy scoring with 11 180s (the joint-most ever in a Premier League match) and an average of more than 100 – it was virtually a flawless display from Cullen, who will meet Michael van Gerwen or James Wade in the final. Fans were left hugely impressed, if a little surprised, by Cullen’s blistering display.
What did you think of Cullen's performance? Tell us in the comments section below.
“Brilliant performance from Joe Cullen at the #PremierLeagueDarts. Saw an interview with him recently where he said darts isn't even his favourite sport to play. Unreal talent.,” tweeted one fan while another added: “What a performance by Joe Cullen!”
A third posted: “One of the best performances Joe Cullen has produced on TV. Jonny Clayton very below par but would have struggled to handle Cullen no matter what.”
A fourth wrote: “It's a shame Jonny Clayton didn't get going tonight. He has been brilliant all campaign. Joe Cullen played really well and didn't let Clayton off the hook.”
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