LITTLER TRIUMPHS IN LIVERPOOL TO REGAIN TOP SPOT

Luke Littler clinched his third nightly win in the 2024 BetMGM Premier League on Thursday night, dispatching Rob Cross 6-2 to triumph on Night 13 in Liverpool.

Littler – also a winner in Belfast and Manchester on Nights Nine and Ten – returned to the Premier League summit after claiming another five-point haul at the M&S Bank Arena.

The teenage superstar overcame Gerwyn Price, Nathan Aspinall and Cross to scoop the £10,000 bonus in Merseyside, which sees him establish a five-point lead over his closest rival Luke Humphries.

Littler opened Thursday’s action with an impressive 6-3 success against Price, producing a ton-topping average to deal a major blow to the Welshman’s slender Play-Off ambitions.

The 17-year-old then fought back from 5-2 down to stun Aspinall, surviving five match darts across the last three legs to complete an unlikely turnaround.

This set up a showdown against 2018 World Champion Cross in the evening’s showpiece, and Littler made a rip-roaring start, converting 111 and 86 checkouts to create an early cushion.

The World Youth Champion extended his lead to 5-0 to threaten the first whitewash win of this year’s competition, before fending off a late rally from Cross to prevail with a 105 average.

“I’m just happy with the way I played,” reflected Littler, who continues to shine on his Premier League debut.

“I wanted to come here, pick up some more points, and hopefully I’m in the Play-Offs now.

“I knew what to expect [with the atmosphere], but I always like to engage with the crowd, and I was just playing with complete freedom up there.

“I’m really happy to pull away from the chasing pack. There’s only three more league nights left now, so maybe I could top the table. That would be amazing.”

Cross had snapped his seven-match losing run with victory over Smith in the quarter-finals, averaging 102 and converting 66% of his attempts at double to triumph in a high-quality tussle.

The 33-year-old later ran out a convincing 6-2 winner against Michael van Gerwen to advance to a second nightly final of 2024, punishing 16 missed darts at double from the Dutchman.

Earlier in the night, Van Gerwen reeled off five consecutive legs from 3-1 down to deny Peter Wright in the last eight, which mathematically ended the Scot’s hopes of a top-four finish.

Elsewhere, Aspinall boosted his top-four credentials with a resounding quarter-final win against Humphries, averaging 102 and pinning six of his eight attempts at double to close out a 6-2 victory.

The 2024 BetMGM Premier League continues in Aberdeen next Thursday, as the darting roadshow rolls into the P&J Live on Night 14.

League leader Littler will renew his rivalry with Aspinall in the quarter-finals, while Scotland’s number one Wright opens the show against Play-Off chasing Smith.

World Champion Humphries will play 2023 runner-up Price, as Van Gerwen and Cross go head-to-head for a second week in succession.

The 2024 BetMGM Premier League will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK & Ireland, through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.

2024 BetMGM Premier League

Night 13 – M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool

Thursday April 25

Quarter-Finals

Luke Littler 6-3 Gerwyn Price

Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Luke Humphries

Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Peter Wright

Rob Cross 6-4 Michael Smith

Semi-Finals

Luke Littler 6-5 Nathan Aspinall

Rob Cross 6-2 Michael van Gerwen

Final

Luke Littler 6-2 Rob Cross

NamePtsNights WonMatchesWonLeg DiffLegs WonLWAT
Luke Littler31318+2114750
Luke Humphries26315+2713152
Nathan Aspinall25215+1113245
Michael van Gerwen24414+311341
Michael Smith20112-411634
Rob Cross1408-89425
Gerwyn Price1207-168826
Peter Wright402-345216

Night 14 – P&J Live, Aberdeen

Thursday May 2

Quarter-Finals

Peter Wright v Michael Smith

Luke Littler v Nathan Aspinall

Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross

Gerwyn Price v Luke Humphries

Photos credit Kieran Cleeves/PDC

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