February 12, 2024 - Van Gerwen Edges Out Littler In Premier League Decider

A Week In Darts – February 12, 2024 – Van Gerwen Triumphs In Premier League Night In Berlin

The Premier League Darts roadshow made its way into Germany last week, as the world’s best players faced off in the Mercedes-Benz Arena, in Berlin. The night concluded with another clash in a final between Michael van Gerwen and Luke Littler. Here’s our round-up of last week’s darts action…

VAN GERWEN EDGES OUT LITTLER IN BERLIN

Michael van Gerwen survived two match darts to beat Luke Littler 6-5 and claim the Premier League Night Two title in Berlin last Thursday.

It was a third meeting in a televised final between the two rivals already in 2024, with the previous two deciders having been shared evenly in the World Series of Darts, as Littler won in Bahrain and van Gerwen took the spoils on home turf in the Netherlands.

The pair won through to the final of last week’s Premier League night in Germany, with van Gerwen beating both Nathan Aspinall (6-4) and Michael Smith (6-5), whilst Littler defeated Rob Cross (6-5) and Luke Humphries (6-5).

A dramatic last-leg decider in the final saw the 17-year-old Littler miss two darts at double 10 to prevail at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, and van Gerwen capitalised by hitting double four with his last dart to claim the maximum five points.

“I played well, especially in the important moments, and I was able to keep the pressure on my opponents,” van Gerwen reflected.

“Sometimes my energy levels in certain games hasn’t been great, so you need to find solutions, and this is a key moment for me today.

“I feel good, I feel comfortable, but there is more to come.”

The Premier League season continues on Thursday (February 15) at the Ovo Hydro in Glasgow.

UK OPEN FIELD ALMOST COMPLETE

The field for the upcoming UK Open is taking shape after the Challenge Tour and Development Tour Order of Merit Qualifiers were confirmed last week.

The top eight eligible players from the 2023 Order of Merits will feature in ‘The FA Cup Of Darts’, which takes place at Butlin’s Minehead from March 1-3.

The 160-player field includes all 128 PDC tour card holders, along with the Challenge Tour and Development Tour qualifiers and the 16 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers.

Former World Cup winner John Henderson, and ex-Lakeside champions Christian Kist and Scott Mitchell, headline the list of Challenge Tour qualifiers, whilst top young prospects Sebastian Bialecki, Rusty-Jake Rodriguez and Cam Crabtree are amongst the Development Tour qualifiers.

Meanwhile, the current list of Rileys qualifiers includes former PDC tour card holder Connor Scutt and World Seniors star Leonard Gates. The last four spots will be determined this weekend with the final Rileys qualifiers being held in Chorlton, Norwich, Liverpool and Coventry (February 17-18).

DDV AND DARTS CORNER AGREE DEAL

Last week the Deutscher Dart Verband e.V. (DDV) announced a new sponsorship partnership with DartsCorner.de

The DDV is the national governing body for darts in Germany and has more than 22,000 members, making it one of the largest grassroots darts organisations in the world.

As part of the sponsorship, the DDV’s member states and their players will receive new benefits along with increased support for all their national teams and German ranking tournaments held throughout the year (including Bundesliga and the German Masters).

Founded in 1982, the DDV has been running competitions all around Germany and has helped nurture some of the country’s top players. Current PDC stars Martin Schindler and Ricardo Pietreczko are amongst the former champions in the DDV system.

Darts Corner’s Managing Director, Craig Heenighan, commented: “We’re all very excited to be working with the DDV and their impressive National Teams to help support the excellent work they do for darts in Germany. At Darts Corner we feel it is very important to help grow the game, so it is an honour to be part of the German Ranking Tournaments.

“This new deal continues our growing investment in grassroots darts around the world, going alongside Darts Corner’s existing sponsorships with the UKDA and the Scottish Darts Association.”

Pictures: PDC

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