Littler beats Humphries to win Premier League Darts title

May 24, 2024 11:59 am

[Source: BBC]

Teenager Luke Littler continued his astonishing rise by winning the 2024 Premier League Darts title with an 11-7 victory over Luke Humphries at the O2 Arena in London.

Littler, 17, was left in tears after winning six of the last eight legs to beat world champion Humphries in the final, racing off the stage to hug his family.

“To all the doubters, hello! I’ve just picked up this! You’re not doubting me any more,” the teenager said to Sky Sports after becoming the eighth player to win a Premier League title.

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In the first leg after the halfway break, he hit his fourth nine-darter in 2024 to send the 14,000-capacity crowd into pandemonium. World number one Humphries could only smile and applaud in response.

From there Littler raced into control, winning his first major PDC title in convincing fashion after going toe-to-toe early on.

“I’m a major winner, I can put myself in that hat now – I can’t wait to go to New York next week and after that I’ll have to have a week off in Orlando,” he added.

It was a repeat of January’s World Championship final, which saw two of darts’ brightest prospects cement themselves into stardom.

At Alexandra Palace it was Humphries who came out on top, but the Premier League final and season has been all about Littler.

On runner-up Humphries, Littler added: “We’ll meet in many finals – and now it’s 1-1 in finals!”

His win sees him pocket £275,000 in prize money, on top of the £40,000 earned earlier in the campaign. The £315,000 total more than doubles his career prize money to date.

In a best of 21 legs final, both men exchanged early breaks and were left tied at 5-5 when the mid-match break came in.

Littler immediately returned with darts in hand, throwing nine perfect darts to set up the perfect ending to a record-breaking Premier League campaign.

Much to his credit, Humphries embraced Littler upon his return from that nine-darter, a sign of what could be the start of a long period of dominance between darts’ two Lukes.

“Tonight he was much stronger than I was and he deserved to win,” said Humphries.

“And if you look at the season as a whole, he deserved to be Premier League champion.

“Of course, I’m gutted not to win but you can’t win everything. Six out of seven major finals for me now, I can only build on it.”

Littler picked up 40 points in the 16-week group stage, levelling 2022 winner Jonny Clayton for the record for most points acquired in a season.

The teenager reached the final after a 10-5 victory over Michael Smith earlier in the evening.

Humphries was victorious over Michael van Gerwen by the same scoreline, ending the Dutchman’s hopes of winning a record-extending eighth league title.