Luke Littler booed but wins Premier League Darts in Liverpool

Comment on the photo, Luke Littler is playing in the Premier League for the first time

  • author, Callum Matthews
  • Role, BBC sports journalist

Teenager Luke Littler won his third night in the Premier League with a comfortable 6-2 win over Liverpool’s Rob Cross.

Littler has become a fan favorite across the UK, but because the 17-year-old is a Manchester United fan, he was booed by the crowd of 8,500.

However, he played like that, often with his hands over his ears and pointing to the crowd with a 2-0 score before the quarter-final in response to Liverpool’s defeat by Everton on Wednesday.

Littler, who beat Gerwyn Price and Nathan Aspinall to reach the final, took a five-game lead into the final before picking up the win after a brief crossover fight.

Littler leads the standings ahead of world champion Luke Humphries, and is now practically guaranteed his place in the qualifiers that will be held at the O2 Arena in London on May 23.

“I knew what was coming this week and I was preparing for it,” Littler told Sky Sports.

He added: “I always interact with the fans, and in the semi-final match I was playing with complete freedom.

“I felt comfortable tonight. I knew what was coming and I was happy with the win.”

Comment on the photo, Luke Littler played in front of the fans and spoke about Liverpool’s defeat to Everton in the Premier League on Wednesday

Littler often plays with and interacts with the crowd, but tonight he reached a new level of confidence.

Tonight will be the first time the crowd has been against him in his evolving career, but he handled the move admirably and used it to motivate himself.

Warrington-born Littler beat Price 6-3 in the quarter-finals, despite not reaching 180 points, but his 50% knockout percentage helped him through.

They were 5-2 down in the semi-final to last week’s winner Aspinall, but have reeled off four successive matches to reach their fourth final of the season.

The World Championship runner-up advanced by five games against Kroos, who lost in the quarter-finals in the past six weeks.

There have been 15 clean sweeps in Premier League history, but none have happened in 2024, and 2018 world champion Cross Littler broke his sixth leg to avoid that.

Littler held on in the eighth leg and secured the win that moved him five points clear at the top of the table and within striking distance of the play-offs on his debut.

“It looked cramped [for the play-off places] “We’ve been winning the last few weeks but I’m happy to get the win and get it out of the way,” Littler said.

“I’m happy to distance myself from others but I know it will be difficult for the other group.”

Night darts premier league 13 results

Luke Littler 6-3 Gerwin Price

Luke Humphries 2-6 Nathan Aspinall

Peter Wright 3-6 Michael van Gerwen

Michael Smith 4-6 Rob Cross

Darts table in the Premier League

Premier League format and points system

Premier League Darts is played over an initial 16 weeks in the league stage, with quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final each night.

Each of the eight players is guaranteed to face the other seven in the quarterfinals in Weeks 1-7 and 9-15, with Weeks 8 and 16 rounding out the schedule. This means we’ll have a 4th-place finish against 5th in Sheffield on the final night of the league stage, with a possible play-off places at stake.

Players earn two points for each win in the quarter-finals, an additional point if they win the semi-finals and five points for winning the night.

The top four players after the group stage qualify for Qualifying Night at London’s O2 Arena on May 23, with the first and second facing off against third in a best-of-19 match. The final follows, which is the best of 21 matches.

If players are level on points after 16 weeks, places will be decided by nights won and then matches won.

Premier League Night Darts 14 Playing Standings

Peter Wright vs. Michael Smith

Luke Littler vs. Nathan Aspinall

Michael van Gerwen vs Rob Cross

Gerwyn Price vs. Luke Humphries

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