FOR just the second time in his maiden PDC Premier League Darts campaign, Luke Littler’s night failed to go beyond its opening match.

His bid for a first nightly win goes on after his Night Eight quarter-final in Dublin saw him fall to a 6-4 defeat to Michael Smith.

The Warringtonian held a 3-1 lead after a positive start, but the St Helens man fought back strongly to advance to the semi-finals.

Littler appeared to be in the mood early on, narrowly missing the bullseye for a 164 checkout in the opening leg.

Smith managed to hold, but he was not so fortunate the next time he had the darts as two perfect visits of 177 and 180 from Littler got the Irish crowd excited at the prospect of a nine-darter.

He did not manage to take it, but he cemented his position to record the first break, which he consolidated in the next leg to take a clear lead.

However, the next leg saw a switch in momentum as Smith improved while the trebles deserted the teenager.

Having held his throw to stay in touch, Smith produced a superb checkout of 122 to break Littler’s throw and bring the match back on throw.

A comfortable hold in the next leg put the pressure on Littler, who responded with a checkout of 72 to stop the rot.

It proved to be a temporary reprieve though as Smith held throw before putting the pressure on Littler as he made a push for victory.

He wrestled command of what turned out to be the final leg and was able to close out an impressive comeback victory.