Luke Littler takes revenge on Luke Humphries with satisfying Dutch Darts Masters triumph | Other | Sport

Luke Littler avenged his World Darts Championship final defeat to Luke Humphries by beating ‘Cool Hand’ 6-5 in the Dutch Darts Masters quarter-finals on Saturday night. Littler, 17, booked his spot in the last four by taking a tense deciding leg in the Netherlands.

The high-stakes Alexandra Palace meeting between the pair earlier this month added an extra bite to Saturday night’s showdown. Humphries took the world final 7-4 in sets, and although the Dutch Darts Masters tie was over in a flash by comparison, it still threw up plenty of drama.

Humphries made a dreadful start to the first-to-six-legs contest, going two down as Littler broke throw with an impressive 105 checkout. But ‘Cool Hand’ then strung together four legs on the bounce to put himself firmly in control.

The pendulum swung back in Littler’s favour at 4-2 down as he hit six perfect darts to rev up the crowd. He spurned the nine-darter opportunity but crucially took the leg and stifled Humphries’ momentum.

It was Littler’s turn to go on a run as he notched three consecutive legs to go within one of the match. Humphries survived to force a decider on Littler’s throw, and the 17-year-old took out 88 to exact his revenge and march into the semi-finals at his rival’s expense.

“I’m happy with the way I played,” said the teenager. “I had to put another 10 on [top of] last night’s 90 average and I did. I went two up and then fell asleep for the next four legs.

“I got back into it and I played well all game with my finishing and my scoring so I’m happy. I went 2-0 up and then fell behind 4-2, I just thought ‘I’ve got the darts here to bring it back and I can bring it back’. I got to the last leg and I just won.”

Littler has no time to rest on his laurels, with either Gerwyn Price waiting in the semi-finals later on Saturday evening. The mammoth session will conclude with the final, meaning Littler will have to win three matches on the same night to lift the trophy and clinch the £20,000 top prize as he did in Bahrain earlier this month.

The 2007-born talent, who is now the only Englishman remaining in the draw, has not lost a competitive match since his painful Ally Pally defeat to Humphries. After beating the likes of Price and Michael van Gerwen en route to glory in the Middle East, he kicked off his Dutch Darts Masters campaign with a 6-2 win over Dirk van Duijvenbode.

Littler and Humphries, who are now tied at one win apiece, are scheduled to do battle again on the Premier League’s opening night in Cardiff on February 1.

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