LUKE “The Nuke” Littler got one monkey off his back in Night Seven of the PDC Premier League Darts – but one still remains.

Warrington’s teenage darts sensation was in blistering form early on to score his first Premier League victory over Michael Van Gerwen, but his wait for a nightly win goes on.

The 17-year-old ran into an inspired display from stablemate Nathan Aspinall in the semi-finals, falling to a 6-3 defeat.

Aspinall went on to lose the final to world champion Luke Humphries, who claimed his second successive nightly win having won in Brighton last week to move to the top of the overall table.

The two points gained means Littler remains inside the top four on 13 points ahead of Night Eight in Dublin next week.

Littler runs into inspired Aspinall

Having hammered Van Gerwen in the quarter finals, a first nightly victory in darts’ annual roadshow looked to be on the cards for Littler.

However, it quickly became clear he would have a much tougher time of it against “The Asp,” with both strong on their own throw before Littler just missed bullseye for the “big fish” checkout of 170.

Aspinall shut the door with a checkout of 82 and then piled the pressure onto the Littler throw, and the teenager could not respond and the Stockport man consolidated the break to move to the brink of victory.

What followed was a chaotic eighth leg in which Littler again missed the bullseye for a 164 checkout, but Aspinall ended up missing seven match darts as Littler bust his score in pursuit of five to stay alive before twice missing darts at double two.

After his astonishing let-off, Littler finally closed out the leg to keep himself just about in the contest and then went on the attack to bring the match back on throw, but Aspinall remained calm.

He rallied with a 180 and then capitalised on a sloppy visit from Littler to pin his eighth match dart.

Warrington Guardian: Luke Littler shows signs of frustration during his defeat to Nathan AspinallLuke Littler shows signs of frustration during his defeat to Nathan Aspinall (Image: PA Wire)

Littler crushes Van Gerwen with dominant display

Littler arrived in Nottingham having made it past the quarter-finals on every night bar one but in the knowledge that to maintain that proud record, he would have to beat a man who has been his Premier League nemesis.

Van Gerwen edged last-leg deciders in both meetings between the two including in the Night Two final in Berlin, but he was powerless to resist a dominant showing from the teenager, who was never behind in his 6-2 win as he averaged a stunning 114.

In what was a high-quality game in which Van Gerwen himself averaged 111, the first hold of throw did not come until the sixth leg, by which time Littler had hit six maximums.

Even then, Van Gerwen narrowly missed the bullseye for the “big fish” 170 checkout to level the game at 3-3 but once Littler’s dart nestled inside the double 20 to take him into a crucial two-leg lead, the writing was on the wall for the Dutchman.

Another break of the Van Gerwen throw moved Littler to the brink of victory and he came mightily close to finishing with the ultimate flourish, pinging his eighth maximum of the match and then a 177 to set up the prospect of a second televised nine-darter of the week.

The two treble 20s came, but he narrowly missed the double 12. Even Van Gerwen could afford a wry smile.

Not that it mattered as an 11-dart hold secured him a dominant victory.

Warrington Guardian: Littler acknowledges the vanquished Michael Van Gerwen after the quarter-final between the twoLittler acknowledges the vanquished Michael Van Gerwen after the quarter-final between the two (Image: PA)

PDC Premier League Darts Night Seven results

Quarter finals

Peter Wright 6-5 Gerwyn Price

Luke Humphries 6-4 Michael Smith

Michael van Gerwen 2-6 Luke Littler

Rob Cross 5-6 Nathan Aspinall

Semi finals

Peter Wright 1-6 Luke Humphries

Luke Littler 3-6 Nathan Aspinall


Luke Humphries 6-3 Nathan Aspinall