WARRINGTON’S Luke ‘The Nuke’ Littler will aim to put his UK Open disappointment behind him when he returns to Premier League Darts action in Brighton on Thursday night.

The 17-year-old, who was defeated by Damon Heta 10-8 in the quarter-finals of the UK Open at Butlins Minehead Resort, will go up against Nathan Aspinall, the winner from last Thursday’s Night 5 in Exeter.

They are due on stage at 8.15pm and then the victor will face Michael Smith or Peter Wright in the semi-finals (full timings below).

Littler, who is second in the Order of Merit, picked up more valuable Premier League points in Exeter but missed out on the final.

He was knocked out 6-3 by Rob Cross in the second semi-final at Westpoint in a match where neither reached the form they showed in their opening game of the night.

Littler was in hot form as he made light work of 2023 world champion Michael Smith in the night’s fourth quarter-final.

It was billed locally as a battle of the rugby league fans, The Wire v Saints, and the primrose and blue faithful would have been delighted with what they saw.

‘The Nuke’ ran out victorious 6-2, with his average running at just under 107.

Competing players in 2024 PDC Premier League Darts:

Luke Humphries, Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith, Nathan Aspinall, Gerwyn Price, Rob Cross, Peter Wright, Luke Littler.

Schedule for PDC Premier League Darts Night 6, The Brighton Centre, Brighton, live on Sky Sports, Friday, March 7:

Quarter-final 1: Luke Humphries v Gerwyn Price, 7.15pm

Quarter-final 2: Rob Cross v Michael ven Gerwen, 7.45pm

Quarter-final 3: Nathan Aspinall v Luke Littler, 8.15pm

Quarter-final 4: Michael Smith v Peter Wright, 8.45pm

Semi-final 1: Winner of QF 1 v Winner of QF 2, 9.15pm

Semi-final 2: Winner of QF 3 v Winner of QF 4, 9.45pm

Final: Winner of SF1 v winner of SF 2, 10.30pm

Interesting fact:

Luke Littler landed a stunning nine-darter in the opening leg of his only previous televised meeting with Nathan Aspinall in January’s Bahrain Darts Masters.

What Aspinall is saying ahead of clash with Littler:

Aspinall has enjoyed a remarkable turnaround after losing his opening three quarter-final ties of Premier League Darts 2024, catapulting himself into the top four with eight points from a possible ten during the last fortnight.

“I’ve dug deep over the last two weeks. I was really down after Night Three, but everyone knows I’m a fighter, and I was over the moon to win last week.

“I have been fighting with demons in my own head, but I love this game, and I love the opportunity I’ve been given.

“I’m in a good place now. I’ve got that smile back on my face, I’m full of confidence, and when I’m confident, you have to play well to beat me!”

A reminder of what happened last week:

Results for PDC Premier League Darts Night 5, Westpoint, Exeter, Thursday, February 29:

Quarter-final 1: Luke Humphries 6 Michael van Gerwen 3

Quarter-final 2: Nathan Aspinall 6 Peter Wright 4

Quarter-final 3: Gerwyn Price 1 Rob Cross 6

Quarter-final 4: Luke Littler 6 Michael Smith 2

Semi-final 1: Humphries 5 Aspinall 6

Semi-final 2: Cross 6 Littler 3

Final: Aspinall 6 Cross 2

PDC Premier League Order of Merit:

Warrington Guardian: 2024 Premier League Darts table after Night 52024 Premier League Darts table after Night 5 (Image: PDC)

Format for PDC Premier League nights 2024:

Each night will see quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final played over the best of 11 legs (first to six).

Players will face each other twice in quarter-final ties throughout the season, with the fixtures being balanced for players to be in opposite halves of the draw in an equal number of weeks.

The fixtures for Night 8 and Night 16 will be based on the league table following Night 7 and Night 15 respectively.

The top four players from the final league table will progress to the Play-Offs, which will feature the semi-finals over the best of 19 legs and the final over the best of 21 legs.

The order of throw for all league night matches will be decided by a bull-off, which will be conducted beforehand in the practice room. For the Play-Offs, the semi-finals will see the higher-placed player from the final league table throw first, with a bull-off for the final.

League Points per Night:

Night Winner - 5 points + £10,000 bonus

Runner-Up - 3 points

Semi-Finalists - 2 points

Prize Fund:

Winner - £275,000

Runner-Up - £125,000

Semi-Finalists - £85,000 each

Fifth in League Table - £75,000

Sixth in League Table - £70,000

Seventh in League Table - £65,000

Eighth in League Table - £60,000

Nightly Winner Bonus - £10,000 x16

Total - £1,000,000

Schedule for remaining PDC Premier League Darts 2024, quarter final fixtures:

Night 6, Brighton, March 7: Humphries v Price, Cross v Van Gerwen, Aspinall v Littler, Smith v Wright.

Night 7, Nottingham, March 14: Wright v Price, Humphries v Smith, Van Gerwen v Littler, Cross v Aspinall.

Night 8, Dublin, March 21: Fixtures confirmed following Night Seven.

Night 9, Belfast, March 28: Humphries v Littler, Smith v Van Gerwen, Aspinall v Price, Cross v Wright.

Night 10, Manchester, April 4: Aspinall v Cross, Littler v Van Gerwen, Smith v Humphries, Price v Wright.

Night 11, Birmingham, April 11: Wright v Humphries, Cross v Littler, Price v Smith, Van Gerwen v Aspinall.

Night 12, Rotterdam Ahoy, April 18: Smith v Littler, Cross v Price, Wright v Aspinall, Van Gerwen v Humphries.

Night 13, Liverpool, April 25: Littler v Price, Humphries v Aspinall, Wright v Van Gerwen, Smith v Cross.

Night 14, Aberdeen, May 2: Wright v Smith, Littler v Aspinall, Van Gerwen v Cross, Price v Humphries.

Night 15, Leeds, May 9: Van Gerwen v Price, Littler v Wright, Humphries v Cross, Aspinall v Smith.

Night 16, Sheffield, May 16: Fixtures confirmed following Night 15.

Play-Offs: The O2, London, May 23: The top four players after 16 nights.

Story of 2024 so far for Luke Littler:

PDC World Darts Championship runner-up

Bahrain Darts Masters Champion, including first leg nine-darter in quarter-final

Dutch Darts Masters runner-up

Premier League Night 1 (Cardiff) semi-finalist

Premier League Night 2 (Berlin) finalist

Players Championship 1 (Wigan) winner, including nine-darter in the last 32

Premier League Night 4 (Newcastle) semi-finalist

Premier League Night 5 (Exeter) semi-finalist

UK Open quarter-finalist