Lloyd’s talking points: Dangerous Clayton, big week for Ashton

Colin Lloyd

Darts Expert & Columnist

Don’t miss a dart with all nine days of live Grand Slam of Darts action from Wolverhampton’s Aldersley Leisure Village getting under way on Saturday – join us from 1pm on Sky Sports Arena.

Last Updated: 12/11/21 6:51am

Jonny Clayton is on fire right now

Colin Lloyd looks ahead to the 2021 Grand Slam of Darts, running through the main talking points.

‘Clayton is dangerous’

Jonny Clayton is the form player in darts right now.

The red-hot Welshman has picked up a staggering four televised titles thus far in 2021; the Masters, the Premier League, the Grand Prix and the World Series of Darts Finals.

Considering where his game was at coming into the calendar year, his rise has been nothing short of stunning.

And he travels to Wolverhampton, looking to add to his haul and continue a dream season.

“How many times have we picked players to win [tournaments]? Who’s the player in form at the minute? Who’s the one to beat? I don’t think any of us ever mentioned Jonny Clayton, and yet he’s the one that’s mopping everything up!” said Colin Lloyd on The Darts Show Podcast.

“Unfortunately for Jonny, a lot of the titles he’s winning are not ranked. And listen, he’s not going to be bothered, he’s still winning events!

“Could you imagine if they were ranked? The money he has pocketed this year from unranked events must be around half a million quid. He’d be ranked up in the top four in the world!

“The way he has been playing, the way he’s performing against his fellow top players, he’s not looking flustered, he’s looking very comfortable. He’s going to be very dangerous at the Grand Slam. ‘The Ferret’ is coming good, not only in the unranked events, but also in the ranked events. So people beware when we get to Wolverhampton.”

One aspect that has been crucial to The Ferret’s success has been the fact he has had the number of his World Cup team-mate, Gerwyn Price.

Clayton defeated the reigning world champion in the Grand Prix and World Series of Darts Finals.

“Against Jonny Clayton, [Price] hasn’t played bad. It’s just that Jonny has been playing so well and he’s so confident,” Lloyd added.

“And I think that it’s a respect thing. I don’t know whether ‘Gezzy’ wants to give Jonny the roar. He certainly dishes it out to other people. But when they’re both proud Welshman and they’re World Cup team-mates, it’s a bit funny!”

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Clayton was ecstatic after beating Gerwyn Price 5-1 in the final of the World Grand Prix

Clayton was ecstatic after beating Gerwyn Price 5-1 in the final of the World Grand Prix

Ashton and Sherrock hoping to make waves in Wolverhampton

The week presents an opportunity for Lisa Ashton and Fallon Sherrock, who qualified through the PDC Women’s Series.

“The prize money involved, this could save Lisa Ashton’s [tour] card,” Lloyd said.

“If she has a little bit of a run here, and, dare I say it, wins a game or so at the World Championships, she could save her card. She wouldn’t have to go to Q-School again. She’s been very unfortunate with Covid and everything going on. But that could be said for a lot of people.

“She would be looking at this, thinking ‘do you know what, if I could do really well in my group’ – even though she has a very tough group – ‘and then have a half-decent Worlds, I might not have to go to Q-School in January’.”

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Fallon Sherrock returns to the big stage

And he feels they are going to the tournament with nothing to lose.

“Personally, if I were chatting to both the ladies, I would tell them ‘just go there and do what you’re doing’. I think they’ve already done the hard work,” ‘Jaws’ continued.

“The hard work for them was getting through the ladies tour to be here and be at the World Championships. Just go up there and play the way you can. Don’t think about anything else. You can’t look to the future in sport. You have to look at the here and now.

“They’ve just got to go up, they both know they’re playing well, they’re both hitting big averages, both finishing well, both scoring very heavily. So just go up there and do the same.

“Lisa has obviously been playing on the tour. But Fallon has also been keeping her arm in as well on the online stuff. So I don’t think the guys will take them very lightly, which they shouldn’t anyway. They know they’re going to have to perform against these two ladies, because they’re two formidable players that are just going to go up there and get on with the job at hand.”

Can Lisa Ashton deliver?

‘The Iceman’ to prevail!

“I will go for Gerwyn Price to win it,” Lloyd predicted.

“I think he has made Wolverhampton his second home. He always seems to play well there.

“And I think he’s going to beat Michael van Gerwen in the final. MvG is throwing some good stuff again, but I just think that Gezzy might have a bit much for him up on that stage.”

Don’t miss a dart with all nine days of live Grand Slam of Darts action from Wolverhampton’s Aldersley Leisure Village getting underway on Saturday, November 13 – join us from 1pm on Sky Sports Arena.

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