Humphries 'over the moon' after joining exclusive group on Euro Tour

Luke Humphries (PDC Europe)

Luke Humphries joined an exclusive group on Sunday, after celebrating his fifth European Tour title with victory at the Interwetten European Darts Matchplay in Trier.

Humphries retained his European Matchplay crown in a dramatic finale at Arena Trier, surviving four match darts and recovering from 7-5 down to defeat a crestfallen Dirk van Duijvenbode in a last-leg shoot-out.

Humphries claimed four European Tour titles in a breakthrough 2022 season, although he was yet to add to his title tally in 2023, despite featuring in a further four finals.

However, the 28-year-old held his nerve to end Van Duijvenbode’s hopes of lifting a maiden European Tour title, pinning double ten in a breathless decider to scoop the £30,000 top prize.

Humphries now becomes only the sixth player to have won five European Tour titles, following in the footsteps of Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright, Michael Smith and Dave Chisnall.

“I'm so delighted but I'm struggling to celebrate this one,” reflected the world number six post-match.

“I feel so sorry for Dirk and I know how much that hurts. He had the chances there and didn't take them. 

“I know how Dirk feels because I've lost four [finals] this year - it's very hurtful and if I'd lost a fifth it probably would have crushed me a little bit more.

“It's horrible for him to lose that - Dirk's a fantastic player and there's no doubt he's going to win five, six, seven, eight in the next couple of years because he's an incredible player."

The former World Youth Champion boasts a remarkable record on the European Tour, winning 52 of his last 65 matches dating back to the start of 2022.

The Newbury ace has featured in nine European Tour finals during this period, establishing himself as one of the sport’s premier players in the process.

“To pick my fifth title up is a big feeling,” added Humphries, who will be aiming to continue his fine form at the inaugural Superbet Poland Darts Masters from July 7-8.

“It’s been a year since I picked up my first title. Overall, I think I played well, but I was very lucky to win that. It’s probably the luckiest game I’ve played in my life.

“I'm over the moon though - I don't want to be too down on myself, that's my fifth title in less than a year so I'm really happy.”

Humphries could renew his rivalry with Van Duijvenbode at the upcoming Betfred World Matchplay, which takes place at Blackpool’s iconic Winter Gardens from July 15-23.

The pair will meet in the last 16 if they come through their opening ties, with Humphries up against former Grand Slam champion Jose de Sousa, while Van Duijvenbode takes on Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts.

“I might have to play Dirk in the last 16 of the World Matchplay if we both win [our first games],” added Humphries, who was beaten by Nathan Aspinall in the first round of last year’s event.

“I believe it will be a better game, because we’ll both be energised and looking forward to it.

“Hopefully we can get through our first games and give the crowd what they deserve, because when we’re both on it, we are two of the best players in the world.”