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Littler Shines in the Granite City

Luke Littler secures Premier League playoffs after emphatic win in Aberdeen


By: James Kinnaird


PHOTOGRAPH: TAYLOR LANNING - PDC DARTS


Luke Littler took back-to-back wins in the PDC Premier League after he saw off challenges from Nathan Aspinall, Michael Smith, and Rob Cross to take the crown in Aberdeen. However, the headlines had started before a dart was even thrown, with Gerwyn Price withdrawing from the competition with a back injury, allowing world number 1 Luke Humphries a bye into the semi-finals.

 

The night began in the quarter-finals as home hero Peter Wright took on Michael Smith, who remains in the hunt for a playoff spot. Despite sitting rock bottom of the league with just four points to his name, Peter Wright came out fighting, taking a 3-2 lead as he was roared on by the Scottish crowd. But after a shaky start, Michael Smith found his feet and delivered a composed performance to defeat the Scotsman 5-3 and advance to the semi-finals.

 

Next up was Nathan Aspinall against league leader Luke Littler who was fresh off a European tour win in Austria at the weekend.  Aspinall came out of the gates well with Luke matching him but not showing the quality we have become so accustomed to from the 17-year-old. As the game sat at 5-5 both players missed a match dart before Littler sealed it with double 10 to book his place in the Semi-final.

 

Finally, it was the turn of Michael Van Gerwen and Rob Cross with the latter having the chance to get three wins in a row against ‘Mighty Mike’ for the first time ever. Similar to the first two quarter finals of the evening it was a tense affair with both players really putting on a show, Cross hitting an 11 darter and Van Gerwen missing several huge checkouts. In the end it was Cross that got the better of the Dutchman who has become prone to inconsistent performances of late, as he looks to hold onto his playoff place.

 

As the semi-finals got underway Luke Littler seemed to hit his stride against Michael Smith following a nervy quarter final. The teenager swept Smith aside with three 180s and an average of 110 with a reflective 6-1 score line. This victory also ensured Littler’s place in the playoffs at the end of the month, as his dream debut in the Premier League season shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

 

The other semi-final however, provided the fans with a little more drama. Cross took a 3-1 as Humphries struggled, reflected by his visibly negative attitude on stage. Yet, the world champion persevered and clawed the game back to level terms at 5-5, but it was Cross who would prevail winning the game by one set and setting up a rematch of the final in Liverpool just a week earlier.

 

In a night that was full of tense games with great darts, the final did not disappoint. Both Littler and Cross played their best darts of the night with a total of ten 180s and the lead changing hands four times. But it was Luke Littler’s night as he finished in style almost completing a nine darter before sealing the deal with a double 10.

 

Littler’s win takes him eight points clear at the top of the table, into the playoffs, and equals the most consecutive wins in this competition. Overall, a good night of darts for teenage sensation.

 

Speaking to media following his win Litter claimed “I’m playing my best darts at the moment and just really enjoying it” adding that he is “not feeling the pressure” of the capacity crowds he continually delivers in front of.

1 Comment


Jacky April
Jacky April
Jun 09

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