Luke Littler claimed a 6-5 victory over Luke Humphries to reach the semi-finals and boost his hopes of a second title in as many weeks; Watch the 2024 Premier League Darts every Thursday from February 1, starting in Cardiff, live on Sky Sports
Author Ali Stafford
18:52, UK, Saturday 27 January 2024
Young pro Luke Littler took pride of place over world champion Luke Humphries after a stunning victory in the quarter-finals of the Dutch Darts Masters.
In the first meeting between the two since the World Championship final on January 3, it was Littler who came out on top to continue his quest for a second World Series title in as many weeks.
Littler fought back from 4-2 down to win 6-5 and book his place in the semi-finals at De Maaspoort in Den Bosch, as World No 1 Humphries – eyeing a young World Series title – was left to the tournament. the last eight out.
“I’m happy with how I played,” Littler said ITV. “I went 2-0 and I think I slept for the next four legs. Then I came back and I think I played well with my finish and my scoring, so I’m happy.”
Littler Edges Humphries in the final international replay
Humphries reached Saturday’s final after a 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 win.
Littler – and the darts – took out the D20 to catch a leg throw with a 16-darter after Humphries missed a two-for-two chance, then fired a top 105 checkout to break the foreign world No 1 in spectacular fashion.
Last week’s Bahrain Darts Masters champion lost two chances to open up a three-leg advantage, allowing Humphries to relax by hitting D3, the world champion had the next to complete the tournament.
Humphries finished 83 and added a check of 108 to register a fourth straight leg, before Littler stopped the rot and registered a 14-back-dart first leg to tie the match at 4-4.
Littler took the lead with a 36 for the 14-darter but missed three darts in the next leg to allow Humphries to take the tournament to decide, while the rising star sealed an impressive victory with an 88 checkout on the bullseye.
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What’s next for Humphries and Littler?
Littler and Humphries will have to wait until Thursday to meet again, with the pair closing out the quarter-finals on the opening night of the BetMGM Premier League in Cardiff.
Reigning champion Van Gerwen will begin his bid for an eighth Premier League crown against last year’s world champion Michael Smith, while Peter Wright opens for Rob Cross and Gerwyn Price takes on Nathan Aspinall.
The Premier League has 16 minor events in the regular season for players to earn points, and every night the league has quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final over the best of 11 legs.
The players receive two points for the semi-final, three points for the final and five points for the final win, and the top four in the long-term game then go 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 begin an extended 17-week run until the Play-Offs on Thursday, May 23. Watch darts and more on Sky Sports without a contract NOW.