March 11, 2024 - Nine-Dart Littler Wins On European Tour Debut

A Week In Darts – March 11, 2024 – Debut Delight For Nine-Dart Littler On The European Tour

Throwing nine-dart legs and winning European Tour titles, appearing in cereal TV adverts and as a guest on the Jonathan Ross Show, it all happened during a typical week in the life of Luke Littler. Here’s our look back at all of last week’s darts action in the latest ‘A Week In Darts’…

NINE-DART LITTLER CLAIMS TITLE ON EURO TOUR DEBUT

Luke Littler completed another title-winning debut as he threw a nine-darter on his way to victory in the Belgian Darts Open on Sunday night.

The first of 13 events on the 2024 European Tour took place in Wieze at the weekend, where ‘The Nuke’ made his bow and went all the way to claim the £30,000 top prize.

After surviving two match darts against Jose De Sousa in the opening round on Friday night, the teenager did not look back as wins over Krzysztof Ratajski, Damon Heta, Jermaine Wattimena and Ricardo Pietreczko took him through to the final.

The 17-year-old threw his third perfect leg of the year to go 6-5 up on Rob Cross in the decider, before his opponent won the next two legs to edge 7-6 in front.

A back and forth contest then saw Littler take the last two legs to prevail 8-7 in a deciding leg to get the better of his fellow Premier League star.

The victory completed a unique hat-trick for Littler, who had already won the title on his World Series and Players Championship debuts earlier this year. A triumph in his first European Tour appearance also sees him move into a provisional spot for the World Matchplay this summer.

“I’m just glad to get over the line,” he said. “I lost the two legs after I hit the nine so I’m relieved to win.

“It’s always good to be involved in a good game. Me and Rob have battles and we bring the best out of each other.

“I know the spotlight is on me because I’ve done so well, but I just play my darts and get on with it. I just do what I do.”

Cross tasted defeat in Sunday’s final despite finishing with an average of 108.00. The 2018 PDC world champion had checked out 121 on the bull to break throw for a 7-6 lead, only for Littler to respond with 15 and 14-dart legs to take the title.

“I wanted a big display and I got a big display,” Cross said. “I missed a few chances, but I can’t be bitter about them.

“Luke is special. He has such a bright future in front of him.

“I’ve loved playing in front of this crowd. I’ve really enjoyed my weekend here.”

HUMPHRIES LAYS DOWN A MARKER IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE

Luke Humphries produced a trio of world-class displays to clinch his first nightly victory in this year’s Premier League in Brighton on Thursday night.

The world number one went into the latest round of action sitting in sixth place in the table, but catapulted himself up to second with a five-point haul on the South Coast.

The reigning PDC world champion averaged 105 in a 6-2 win against Gerwyn Price, before firing in a sensational 113 average to beat Rob Cross 6-3.

A 101 average helped him to a 6-3 victory over Michael Smith in the final as he outlined his credentials as one of the contenders to win the play-offs in May.

“I think it’s probably the best I’ve played and the best I’ve felt since the World Championship,” Humphries said.

“I think after the World Championship, everyone expected me to win everything, which is not going to happen.

“There are so many great players out there, and winning nights like these are fantastic. I’m really proud of the way I’ve played tonight.”

The Premier League season continues in Nottingham on Thursday (March 14), with Humphries and Smith meeting in a repeat of the Brighton final.

COMMENTARY LEGEND PASSES AWAY

The darts world was in mourning last week following the news that commentator and Bullseye star Tony Green had passed away at the age of 85.

Green was a regular voice in the commentary box at the BDO World Championship from 1978 to 2016, and was a popular figure on the darts game show Bullseye.

His role on the ITV show was as a scorer and announcer during the 1980s and 1990s, which attracted millions of viewers in its heyday.

Bullseye creator Andrew Wood announced the sad news on Monday that Green had “passed away peacefully today after a long battle with Alzheimer’s”.

Pictures: PDC

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