Littler fulfils Play-Off dreams with success on Scottish soil

Luke Littler (Taylor Lanning/PDC)

Luke Littler fulfilled another childhood dream after confirming a top-four finish in the 2024 BetMGM Premier League with victory in Aberdeen on Thursday.

Littler clinched his fourth nightly victory of the season with a hat-trick of superb performances at P&J Live, defeating Nathan Aspinall, Michael Smith and Rob Cross to triumph on Scottish soil.

Littler arrived in Aberdeen with a five-point cushion at the top of the table, and his latest victory ensures he will feature in the season-ending Play-Offs at London’s O2 on Thursday May 23.

“This is what I dreamed of when I was growing up and watching the Premier League every Thursday,” revealed the teenage trailblazer.

“Making the Play-Offs was my aim coming into the Premier League, so to have achieved that with two weeks to spare is a great achievement.

“I didn’t really know that if I won my first game I’d be through. I just came here wanting to win another night.

“Now I’ve got a ‘q’ next to my name, so going into the next few weeks I can play with freedom, and after those nights my focus will be on London.”

Littler survived a match dart in his quarter-final victory against Aspinall, defying a partisan atmosphere to deny the World Matchplay champion in a dramatic last-leg decider.

The World Youth Champion then ended his losing run against Smith in sensational style, averaging 110 and converting 105, 124 and 144 checkouts to wrap up a 6-1 success.

The 17-year-old faced Cross in the nightly final for a second consecutive week, and it was a similar outcome, with Littler averaging 102 to see off the 2018 World Champion.

The Warrington wonderkid has now won his last 12 matches in all competitions, having followed up his victory in Liverpool by lifting the Austrian Darts Open title in Graz on Sunday.

“I’m really happy with the way my darts are going,” admitted Littler, who leads his closest challenger Luke Humphries by eight points with two nights of league action remaining in Leeds and Sheffield.

“I brought my Liverpool form to Austria last weekend, and now after having a few days off to recharge, I’ve won again!"

Littler is now setting his sights on another slice of history, as he aims to become the first player to claim five nightly wins in a single Premier League season since the current format was introduced in 2022.

“It’s breathtaking travelling to all of these places," continued the World Championship runner-up.

"I’ve learnt a lot in the last four to five months of the season, and I know what to expect now.

“In the first few weeks [of the Premier League] I was fourth or fifth, but now I’ve been top for quite a few weeks, and hopefully I can stay there!

“I know over the next two weeks the record [for nightly wins] is there to be broken, but whatever happens, I’m still going to the O2!”