Luke Littler claimed a 6-5 victory over Luke Humphries to reach the semi-finals and bolster his hopes of a second title in as many weeks; Watch the 2024 Premier League Darts season every Thursday from February 1, starting in Cardiff, live on Sky Sports
Image: Luke Littler claimed a 6-5 victory over Luke Humphries at the Dutch Darts Masters
Teenage superstar Luke Littler claimed bragging rights over reigning world champion Luke Humphries after a dramatic final-leg win in the quarter-finals of the Dutch Darts Masters.
In a first meeting between the pair since their epic World Championship final on January 3, it was Littler who came out on top to continue his bid for a second World Series title in as many weeks.
Littler battled back from 4-2 down to claim a 6-5 win and book his spot in the semi-finals at De Maaspoort in Den Bosch, as world No 1 Humphries – looking for a maiden World Series title – was left heading for a last-eight exit.
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“Happy with the way I played,” Littler told ITV. “I went 2-0 up and I think I fell asleep for the next four legs. Then I got back into it and I think that I played well with my finish and my scoring, so I’m happy.”
Littler edges Humphries in world final repeat
Humphries had reached Saturday’s quarter-finals after a ruthless 6-0 whitewash of Jermaine Wattimena the previous evening, while Littler – who won in Bahrain last week – saw off Dirk van Duijvenbode with an impressive 6-2 success.
Highlights of the 2024 World Darts Championship final between World number one Luke Humphries and teenage sensation Luke Littler.
Littler – with the darts – took out D20 to hold throw in the opening leg with a 16-darter after Humphries missed two chances at double, then fired tops-tops for a 105 checkout to break an out-of-sorts world No 1 in impressive fashion.
Last week’s Bahrain Darts Masters champion wasted two opportunities to open a three-leg advantage, allowing Humphries to break back by pinning in D3, with the world champion then holding in the next to level the contest.
Image: Luke Humphries led 4-2 against Littler before being eliminated
Humphries took out an 83 finish and added a 108 checkout to register a fourth straight leg, before Littler stopped the rot by registering the first of back-to-back 14-dart legs to level the match at 4-4.
Littler edged ahead by taking out 36 for another 14-darter but missed three match darts in the next leg to allow Humphries to take the contest to a decider, where the rising star sealed an impressive victory by taking out an 88 checkout on the bullseye.
What’s next for Humphries and Littler?
Littler and Humphries only have to wait until Thursday to meet again, with the pair closing out the quarter-final fixtures at the opening night of the BetMGM Premier League in Cardiff.
Reigning champion Van Gerwen begins his bid for a record-extending eighth Premier League crown against last year’s world champion Michael Smith, while Peter Wright opens against Rob Cross and Gerwyn Price takes on Nathan Aspinall.
Check out how MVG won a record-breaking seventh Premier League title in style at the O2 in London last May
The Premier League consists of 16 mini-events during the regular season for players to earn points, with each league night comprising quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final over the best of 11 legs.
Players receive two points per semi-final appearance, three points per runner-up finish and five points per final win, with the top four in the season-long standings then progressing to the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on Thursday May 23.
Premier League Darts returns to Sky Sports on Thursday, February 1 as Cardiff kicks off the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs on Thursday, May 23. Stream darts and more on Sky Sports without a contract through NOW