Nathan Aspinall claimed the PDC Home Tour title – and has his own trophy to celebrate with too
Nathan Aspinall produced a perfect evening’s work to win all three matches, including a thriller against Gary Anderson, to earn the PDC Home Tour title.
The UK Open and US Darts Masters champion beat Jelle Klaasen, Jonny Clayton and Anderson to record three wins from three on the final night of the PDC’s innovative Home Tour to top the Championship Group.
Aspinall only secured his Tour Card again in 2018 but he was the highest-ranked player left in the tournament on the last of 43 nights. His hunger shone through as he claimed the title from his kitchen and celebrated with a felt-tip inscribed kitchen plate.
“It’s been a brilliant tournament, a lot of us were sceptical at the start but we’ve really enjoyed it – and I have gone and won it!
“I am up there with the best in the world and I was playing well before the break. It’s been a tough time. I’ve had two months off with the family and it’s all been new to me, I’ve loved it.”
“Enough is enough now, I’ve got a job to do. I want to get back on the Tour, playing darts and winning titles and doing what I do best.”
PDC Home Tour champion Nathan Aspinall
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PDC Home Tour Championship Group – Final standings
|(1) Nathan Aspinall||6||+6|
|(2) Gary Anderson||4||+6|
|(3) Jonny Clayton||2||-3|
|(4) Jelle Klaasen||0||-10|
PDC Home Tour Championship Group – Friday’s results
|Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Jelle Klaasen|
|Gary Anderson 6-2 Jonny Clayton|
|Jelle Klaasen 2-6 Jonny Clayton|
|Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Gary Anderson|
|Gary Anderson 6-3 Jelle Klaasen|
|Jonny Clayton 4-6 Nathan Aspinall|
Having beaten Klaasen in the opening match, Aspinall produced a monumental burst to beat Anderson in a high-quality fourth match to put himself in pole position for the title.
Aspinall turned a 3-1 deficit to a 6-5 victory over Anderson, inflicting the Scot’s first defeat of the whole Home Tour and halting his winning run at 10, before sealing top spot with a win over Clayton in the final match.
It was a match he had to win as his inferior leg difference meant Anderson would take the title with a Clayton win, and when the Ferret rallied from 2-0 down to lead 3-2, Anderson’s interest from Somerset piqued.
But Aspinall dug deep, as he has shown in claiming two ranking titles this year, reaching two World Championship semi-finals and becoming a major champion. He piled in a few more maximums, taking his evening’s tally to 15, including two in a pivotal seventh leg to lead 4-3 and set himself up for the next two legs a 6-3 win.
A look back at the story of the final night of the PDC Home Tour as Nathan Aspinall came out on top after winning the Championship Group stage.
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In a tournament that has got better and better in quality the longer it has gone on, it was fitting that a match between two of the best would prove pivotal.
Anderson and Aspinall played out a cracker at Alexandra Palace in December, when Aspinall’s win on the biggest stage fired his belief, and he delivered again against the Flying Scotsman.
Both men had impressed in their openers, Asp beating a dogged Klaasen and Anderson producing a blistering 109 average and spectacular 10-dart leg in a 6-2 win over Clayton.
Clayton himself bounced back with a win over Klaasen to eliminate the Dutchman before the world No 7 and world No 9 took centre stage for a superb contest that see-sawed. Anderson living up to his nickname by flying out of the traps and into a 2-0 lead.
Aspinall’s win over Anderson proved crucial but the world no 7 still needed a win over Jonny Clayton in the final match of the evening
Asp pinned a 120 finish to get on the board before Anderson re-established his two-leg advantage. That was the cue for Aspinall fireworks. A three-leg burst included 11 and 13-dart legs, the latter giving him the lead for the first time in the contest having pushed his average up by more than 10 points during that burst.
The pair traded the next three to force the decider where Aspinall prevailed to stay in control. But a big Anderson win against Klaasen meant there was no room for error for the Asp. Ando was too strong for Klaasen, a 6-3 win inflicting a third defeat of the night on the former BDO world champion.
Aspinall sinks Clayton for the title
With Anderson watching on, Aspinall struggled for early rhythm, but soon found his groove to win six of the last seven legs and seal a perfect evening’s work. And at the end of more than a month of action from four different countries, it was a Stockport kitchen that saw the champion crowned.
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