Match Report

2024 Premier League: Luke Littler Wins Night Ten in Manchester

Luke Littler wins back-to-back Premier League nights in Manchester, as Gerwyn Price hits nine dart magic enroute to the final.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-04-04

Naim Rosinski

12 minutes read

Night Ten at the AO Arena in Manchester

The AO Arena in Manchester buzzed with anticipation as the Premier League darts caravan rolled into town for Night Ten of exhilarating action. Among the fervent crowd, all eyes were on the homecoming of teenage prodigy Luke Littler, whose affiliation with Manchester United added an extra layer of excitement to the evening. 

Littler, just 17 years old, found himself once again in the spotlight as he renewed his fierce rivalry with darts titan Michael van Gerwen. This clash marked the seventh encounter between the two this season, a showdown that has electrified the PDC tour with its intensity. With three victories apiece in their previous meetings, the anticipation was palpable as fans awaited another thrilling chapter in their ongoing battle. 

Last week in Belfast, the Warrington Wonderkid triumphed over the Dutchman, claiming his inaugural Premier League nightly win, and setting the stage for what promised to be another captivating showdown.


Nathan Aspinall vs. Rob Cross

While the spotlight shone brightly on Luke Littler, another local favourite, Nathan Aspinall, captured the hearts of the Manchester crowd with his thrilling performance. Hailing from Stockport, Aspinall found himself in a gripping showdown against former world champion Rob Cross, igniting the 9,500-strong sell-out crowd with fervent support.

The match unfolded with tense exchanges from the outset, as Aspinall aimed to break Cross' throw early on. Despite narrowly missing a crucial opportunity with two darts at double 20, Cross responded emphatically with a clinical 90-checkout, sealing the leg with consecutive double 18s.

In a series of closely contested legs, both players held their throw with precision, levelling the score at two legs apiece. However, the momentum shifted dramatically in the fifth leg, as Aspinall surged ahead with a remarkable 14-dart break of throw, leaving Cross trailing with a challenging three-dart finish after his own 14 darts.

Undeterred, Aspinall continued to dazzle, notching an impressive 108 three-dart finish to extend his lead to 4-2. With victory within reach, Aspinall endured a tense moment, missing multiple darts at double, but ultimately found redemption with a decisive finish on the "madhouse," securing a 5-3 advantage over the formidable Voltage. 

Despite a missed match dart in the wake of a valiant 124 attempt, Aspinall solidified his victory with a commanding 6-3 triumph over Cross, cementing his status as a hometown hero.


Image credit: PDC

Luke Littler vs. Michael van Gerwen

Amidst an atmosphere charged with anticipation akin to Aspinall's reception, 17-year-old sensation Luke Littler graced the stage exuding palpable confidence. Facing Michael van Gerwen, Littler wasted no time asserting his dominance, effortlessly clinching the opening leg. In a stunning display of skill, he swiftly broke the Dutchman's throw with a precise 96-checkout in the second leg, followed by a composed 90-checkout to extend his lead to 3-0.

Despite initially trailing in the early stages, van Gerwen soon found his rhythm, mounting a somewhat spirited comeback. With a blistering 13-dart leg, he notched his first victory of the match, before spectacularly breaking Littler's throw with an 11-dart finish, capped off with an 84-checkout. Littler then faltered with a missed dart at double 20, allowing van Gerwen to seize the opportunity and level the score at 3-3.

Refusing to yield, the Warrington wonderkid narrowly held his throw, stalling van Gerwen's momentum. In a testament to their competitive spirit, both players struggled to find their usual form. However, Littler managed to break van Gerwen's throw once more after 18 darts, underscoring the unpredictable nature of the encounter. 

As the tension mounted, van Gerwen faced the looming threat of an early Premier League exit, while Littler remained resolute. With nerves of steel, Littler sealed the victory, clinching his favoured double 10 to triumph over his formidable adversary with a 6-3 score line.


Image credit: PDC

Michael Smith vs. Luke Humphries

In a slow-burning start, neither Michael Smith nor Luke Humphries ignited the stage with their usual firepower. Smith struggled to find his rhythm, missing five crucial darts at double before eventually finding redemption with a double 20 to claim the opening leg of the match. 

Despite his reigning world champion status, Humphries failed to find his stride in the early exchanges, allowing Smith to seize the initiative with a crafty 15-dart break of throw, granting him a two-leg advantage. A subsequent back-to-back 15-dart leg extended Smith's lead unexpectedly to 3-0.

Just as the match seemed to be slipping away, Humphries unleashed a moment of brilliance, producing a sensational 167 checkout, the second highest in the sport, launching his comeback bid. However, Smith quickly reasserted his dominance, securing the next leg to widen the gap to 4-1 over the world number one.

With Smith on the cusp of victory, the tension mounted as two match darts slipped through his grasp in the eighth leg. Yet, Humphries rallied, clinching back-to-back legs for the first time in the match, narrowing the deficit to 5-3. Despite Humphries' valiant effort, the odds remained stacked against him.

In a fitting finale, Smith showcased his prowess, delivering a spectacular 117 three-dart checkout to secure victory and eliminate the table-topper in Manchester, sealing his place in the semi-finals with style.


Image credit: PDC

Gerwyn Price vs. Peter Wright

In a pivotal clash between Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright, both players found themselves in desperate need of points, occupying the bottom two spots in the league table. The match kicked off in a blaze of excitement as Price showcased his skill with a remarkable 115 three-dart checkout to secure the opening leg.

The intensity only heightened as the match progressed, with both players maintaining an extraordinary standard of play. A flurry of 13-dart legs, punctuated by a sensational 11-dart leg from Price, saw the Welshman narrowly edge ahead 3-2 as the game entered its mid stages.

In a crucial moment, Price seized the first break of throw in the sixth leg, surging ahead with another impeccable 13-dart leg to claim a two-leg advantage. However, Wright swiftly countered, breaking back to level the score with a clinical 111 three-dart checkout. Wright's exceptional scoring prowess kept the match finely balanced, drawing parity at 4-4 with a three-dart average surpassing 110.

Despite Wright's impressive performance, Price matched him stride for stride, reclaiming the lead with a crucial leg. The breath-taking contest culminated with Price sealing victory in the final leg, completing the remarkable feat in just 12 darts to secure a hard-fought 6-4 win. With both players boasting averages approaching 110, the electrifying showdown between Price and Wright undoubtedly stole the spotlight as potentially the match of the night.


Image credit: PDC


Nathan Aspinall vs. Luke Littler

In a highly anticipated rematch of last week's final, two local talents from the North West squared off, vying for a coveted spot in Manchester's final. The game commenced with a tense start for both players, as Nathan Aspinall managed to scrape through the first leg in a below-par 20 darts. The sloppy standard persisted into the second leg, with Luke Littler squandering five darts at double before finally finding his mark with double two.

However, the match took a dramatic turn as the teenage sensation Littler found his rhythm, breaking Aspinall's throw in the third leg with a remarkable 12-dart leg, sealed with an extraordinary 131 checkout via consecutive double 20s. Unfazed, Littler continued his onslaught, clinching double 10 in a composed 14-dart leg to extend his lead to 3-1.

Aspinall fought back, holding his throw to narrow the gap to 3-2, but Littler responded emphatically with yet another sensational finish, a swift two-dart 90 checkout, to re-establish a two-leg advantage. The 17-year-old's precision in the final stages of the match was nothing short of sublime, as he effortlessly executed another impressive three-dart finish, this time a clinical 136, finished off on tops.

Despite facing an uphill battle, Aspinall refused to surrender, managing to break back at Littler's stronghold. This resurgence was followed by a crucial hold of throw, surviving a match dart from Littler, as Aspinall clawed back the deficit to 5-4. In the decisive final leg, Littler surprisingly faltered, missing three match darts, an uncharacteristic display of nerves. Yet, his earlier missed opportunities became inconsequential as he ultimately found his mark with a clutch double 10, sealing his place in Manchester's final.


Image credit: PDC

Michael Smith vs. Gerwyn Price

Despite not being favoured, Gerwyn Price refused to be deterred in this match. He burst onto the scene with a near-perfect 12-dart leg to kickstart proceedings, quickly followed by a 14-dart break of throw. Then, in a moment of sheer brilliance, Price electrified the Manchester crowd by achieving the remarkable feat of a nine-dart finish, showcasing his exceptional skill on the oche.

Although Michael Smith found himself trailing 3-0 and seemingly facing an uphill battle, he displayed resilience by securing his first leg of the encounter and demonstrating his fighting spirit. Smith then managed to win two out of the next three legs, narrowing the deficit to 5-3. However, it wasn't enough to stage a complete comeback.

Price remained composed and determined, sealing the deal in the final leg with a seemingly effortless 72 two-dart finish, securing his place in the final. This victory marked only the second time Price had reached the nightly Premier League final since the opening night in Cardiff.


Image credit: PDC

Final: Luke Littler vs. Gerwyn Price

In a thrilling showdown in Manchester's final, Luke Littler nearly replicated Gerwyn Price's nine-dart magic in the opening leg, launching an impressive display with six perfect darts. However, he faltered in the final stretch, settling for a still impressive 13-dart leg. Undeterred, Littler swiftly capitalised on the momentum, securing a crucial 13-dart break of throw to establish an early and commanding 3-0 lead.

The Iceman, found his rhythm in the fourth leg, responding with a composed 13-dart leg of his own to put a score on the board. Yet, Littler maintained his assertive performance, clinching the fifth leg to extend his lead.

Price encountered some difficulty in the following leg, struggling with missed opportunities at double. However, Littler failed to capitalise on these chances to extend his lead further. Despite Littler's occasional struggles with doubles, he steadily approached the finish line, eventually sealing a 5-2 lead with a successful double five.

The Welshman managed to secure one more leg, but it was Littler who emerged triumphant, clinching his second consecutive nightly win in front of his home crowd with a resounding 6-3 victory. This victory also propelled Littler to the top of the Premier League table, dethroning the reigning world champion Luke Humphries and solidifying his status as a rising star in the darts world.


Image credit: PDC

Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.