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Sports News

Michael van Gerwen stops Luke Littler winning Premier League hat-trick to end drought

today12/04/2024

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Michael van Gerwen returned to the Premier League winner’s circle at the expense of Luke Littler with just five nights remaining of the campaign.

It looked as though Littler was facing the real possibility of losing in the quarter-final for only the second time this Premier League season against Rob Cross.


The 2019 world champion opened up a 3-1 lead over the teenager and had a match dart at tops for the match.

Cross missed and Littler landed double-15 to force a deciding leg where the ‘Nuke’ eased to victory to make it through to the semi-finals.

Michael van Gerwen beat Luke Littler for the first time since February

Michael van Gerwen beat Luke Littler for the first time since February

GETTY

That set up another clash with world No 1 Luke Humphries in the next round, who has failed to beat Littler since the World Darts Championship final.

Littler stepped up another level as he had repeated chances of a nine-darter and averaged over 107 to once again defeat the reigning world champion.

On the other side of the draw, Van Gerwen got past Nathan Aspinall and Michael Smith with relative ease which included a huge 152 finish against the former.

Littler and Van Gerwen faced off seven times prior to their clash in Birmingham on Thursday night with the teenager holding the slight advantage with four victories.

The Dutchman’s last victory against Littler came all the way back in February in the fourth Premier League night.

Neither player was playing their best darts in the opening few legs as they averaged below 90.

Van Gerwen uncharacteristically busted while throwing for the third leg, which gave Littler a chance to break.

The teenager duly obliged, but he still struggled to find any momentum before Van Gerwen got going with a huge 125 checkout to level the match at 2-2.

Luke Littler sits top of the Premier League table

Luke Littler sits top of the Premier League table

GETTY

But even that failed to get the Dutchman going as he failed with two darts at double-eight to take a 3-2 lead before Littler punished him on the next visit.

However, Van Gerwen quickly sparked into life with a run of 180s to stun Littler as he took three consecutive legs to move within one of his fourth Premier League night win of the season.

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Michael van Gerwen had lost his previous three matches against Luke Littler

Michael van Gerwen had lost his previous three matches against Luke Littler

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Littler failed to find an answer when it mattered with Van Gerwen landing double-eight to secure his first nightly win since Newcastle.

The win for Van Gerwen also moves him above Aspinall in the table and just two points adrift of Humphries.

Littler still sits top of the table on 26 points, which historically has been enough to make it to the play-offs.



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Written by: lwrradio

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