Littler delighted to break his duck in Belfast

Luke Littler (Michael Cooper/PDC)

Luke Littler wrote another chapter in his remarkable darting story with a first nightly victory in the BetMGM Premier League in Belfast on Thursday.

Littler – who has already lifted a World Series, Players Championship and European Tour title in 2024 - added a Premier League triumph to his résumé with Night Nine glory in Northern Ireland.

The teenage prodigy had won six of his eight quarter-final tussles ahead of Thursday's visit to The SSE Arena, before joining the winner’s circle in sensational style.

The World Youth Champion overcame Luke Humphries, Michael van Gerwen and Nathan Aspinall to pocket the £10,000 bonus prize, which catapults him up to second in the table.

Littler ended Humphries’ bid for a fourth consecutive nightly victory in the evening’s opener, averaging 102 and landing seven 180s to prevail in a thrilling last-leg shoot-out.

The Warrington wonderkid backed this up with a 6-3 success against Van Gerwen, and capped off a memorable night by rallying from 3-1 down to sink Aspinall in an entertaining final.

“I’m really happy to get my first nightly win,” reflected Littler, who converted 136 and 125 finishes to defeat his stablemate Aspinall 6-4.

“The first game against Luke Humphries was a massive win, to end his streak!

“I had a good win over Michael van Gerwen, and then I’m just glad I took my opportunities against Nathan.

“I changed my throw, just taking that little bit of extra time. It was about composing myself and not rushing my next two darts.

“I felt really relaxed and focused. I’ve practised more than I have been doing, and it paid off!”

Littler occupied fifth spot in the table upon his arrival in Belfast, having slipped outside the Play-Off places following his quarter-final defeat to Smith in Dublin.

However, the teenage sensation has now leapfrogged Smith, Aspinall and Van Gerwen to close to within four points of league leader Humphries.

Littler is the only player in this year’s field to have won seven quarter-final matches this season, and his consistency has put him in a terrific position heading into the business end of the campaign.

“We’re halfway [through the season], so there is still a lot of work to do,” insisted the World Championship runner-up.

“To win my first night going into the second half of the Premier League season has really got my hopes up, and this gives me confidence.

“I’ve won a ProTour, a European Tour and a World Series [title] this year, so it’s just nice to add this to the collection.”

Littler was roared to victory by an 8,000 strong crowd in Belfast on Thursday, and he’s hoping for a similar atmosphere ahead of his Manchester homecoming at the AO Arena next week.

The 17-year-old will renew his rivalry with Van Gerwen in the Night Ten quarter-finals, and he’s relishing the prospect of a special evening on home soil.

“The crowd have been crazy good, but the big one is next week in Manchester. I can’t wait,” Littler continued.

“Every week is a new experience for myself, and hopefully this win will be the first of many.

“I now got Michael [van Gerwen] in Manchester, so it’s all eyes on winning that first game!”