Match Report

2024 Premier League: Michael Smith Wins Night 16 in Sheffield

Michael Smith secured his second Premier League nightly win of the season, earning his place in next week’s Play-Offs at London’s O2.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-05-16

Naim Rosinski

13 minutes read

Night 16 at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield

The final night of the Premier League Darts league phase in 2024 concluded in spectacular fashion at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena, where a sell-out crowd witnessed several thrilling showdowns. 

Nathan Aspinall and Michael Smith, friends off the oche, faced off in a decisive quarter-final match to secure the last remaining spot in the season-ending Play-Offs at London’s O2. Aspinall held a narrow one-point lead over Smith heading into the match, with the victor assured of a coveted Play-Off berth.

Meanwhile, teenage sensation Luke Littler entered the evening knowing that a quarter-final victory against Peter Wright would guarantee him the top spot in the table. Reigning world champion Luke Humphries, trailing Littler by five points, faced the daunting task of winning the night in Sheffield while hoping for Littler’s early exit to overtake him. 


Luke Littler vs. Peter Wright

Despite sitting at the bottom of the league table, Peter Wright's morale and onstage persona remained undiminished as he donned a unique Henderson’s Relish-themed shirt, showing his affection for a beloved Steel City brand. 

The match against Luke Littler began with both players struggling for form, trading the first two legs with three-dart averages under 90.

Wright ignited the match in the third leg with a sensational tops-tops finish, taking an unexpected 2-1 lead. Littler quickly responded, levelling the match before surpassing Wright’s effort with an impressive 120 three-dart finish, landing all three darts in double 20 to seize a 3-2 lead.

The teenage sensation then extended his advantage to 4-2, but Wright fought back with a brilliant 11-dart leg, narrowing the gap to 4-3. Wright had a chance to break Littler with a dart at double, but it was Littler who capitalised, extending his lead to 5-3. 

Although Wright managed to win one more leg, Littler clinched the final leg to secure a 6-4 victory, guaranteeing his place at the top of the Premier League table heading into next week’s Play-Offs.


Image credit: PDC

Nathan Aspinall vs. Michael Smith

In the most crucial match of the evening, Nathan Aspinall and Michael Smith faced off for the fourth and final spot in next week’s Play-Offs. Despite the immense pressure, both players displayed remarkable composure, trading the opening two legs with three-dart averages well over 100.

The match remained evenly poised through the next four legs, reaching a tense 3-3 stalemate. Smith then edged ahead, holding his throw with a sensational 136 three-dart finish to make it 4-3. He followed this up with the first break of throw in the match, delivering another brilliant three-dart finish at 132, igniting the crowd at the Steel City stage and taking a 5-3 lead.

Aspinall's hopes were dashed as Smith clinched the next leg, securing a 6-3 victory and his place in the Play-Offs. It was a masterclass in finishing from Bully Boy, who missed only two darts at a double throughout the entire match.


Image credit: PDC

Luke Humphries vs. Gerwyn Price

With his spot in next week’s Play-Offs already secured, Luke Humphries began his match against Gerwyn Price without much urgency. Price capitalised on this, racing to a surprising 2-0 lead, including a sensational 12-dart leg. Humphries responded with a 13-darter to put his first leg on the board, but Price maintained his momentum, hitting a clean 81 three-dart checkout to go 3-1 up.

Cool Hand Luke then produced an impressive 11-darter to claw back a leg and managed to tie the game at 3-3, despite an uncharacteristic nine missed darts at doubles. Learning from his earlier mistakes, Humphries delivered another 13-dart leg in the next round, taking his first lead of the match at 4-3.

Despite a strong start, Price faltered in the latter stages, allowing Humphries to eventually secure a 6-4 victory.


Image credit: PDC

Michael van Gerwen vs. Rob Cross

Fresh off his European Tour victory in Kiel, Rob Cross aimed to maintain his momentum against Michael van Gerwen. Cross started strong, comfortably securing the first leg. Van Gerwen quickly responded with a brilliant 11-dart leg, but Cross’s impressive form continued as he won the next two legs, including an emphatic break of throw, taking a 3-1 lead. Voltage then extended his lead with a deadly 104 three-dart finish, moving up 4-1. 

Despite Cross’s dominance, van Gerwen was performing exceptionally well, maintaining an average just shy of 110. The Dutchman began mounting a comeback, hitting back-to-back 14-dart legs to narrow the deficit to 4-3.

Van Gerwen continued his surge with a brilliant 89 two-dart checkout to tie the game at 4-4, completing his third consecutive 14-dart leg. Cross then missed two crucial darts at double 18, allowing van Gerwen to win his fourth leg in a row and take the lead for the first time at 5-4. 

More errant darts from Cross in the following leg enabled van Gerwen to capitalise once again, winning the match 6-4 and completing a remarkable comeback.

2024PL16QF_van Gerwen01.jpg

Image credit: PDC


Luke Littler vs. Michael Smith

Full of emotion from his Play-Off clinching quarterfinal performance, Michael Smith aimed to continue his strong record against the young Luke Littler, adding to his previous four victories over the 17-year-old. However, it was Littler who struck first, breaking Smith’s throw with a dazzling 12-dart leg that included two 180s. Littler quickly doubled his lead, leaving Smith trailing 2-0.

The third leg saw both players struggle, missing over seven darts at double before Littler finally secured double five for a 3-0 lead. Smith managed to avoid the first whitewash of the 2024 season by winning the next leg, breaking Littler’s throw to reduce the deficit to 3-1. Yet, Smith’s troubles with doubles continued, allowing Littler to restore his three-leg advantage at 4-1.

Smith then produced a moment of brilliance, closing the gap to 4-2 with a sensational 156 three-dart checkout. He followed this with a 120 three-dart finish, narrowing the score to 4-3 and giving himself a fighting chance. Smith’s momentum carried him through to win his third consecutive leg, tying the game at 4-4.

Continuing his remarkable comeback, Smith won his fifth leg in a row to take an unexpected 5-4 lead, putting him one leg away from another victory over Littler. Though the teenage sensation managed to win his first leg in five to force a decider at 5-5, Smith held his nerve in the final leg to complete another stunning comeback in Sheffield, defeating Littler for the fifth time in the Premier League.

This defeat also meant that Littler was unable to break the total points tally record for a Premier League season, tying Jonny Clayton's 2022 record at 40 points.


Image credit: PDC

Luke Humphries vs. Michael van Gerwen

In the second semi-final, world number one Luke Humphries took to the Sheffield stage with a mission, aiming to add to his impressive 100 tournament average. Humphries started strong, reeling off the first three legs in emphatic fashion, including an astounding 142 three-dart finish to take a commanding 3-0 lead.

Michael van Gerwen managed to claw back the next leg, but Humphries quickly regained control with a precise two-dart 94 checkout, extending his lead to 4-1. Although van Gerwen captured another leg, Humphries responded with another brilliant finish, an 88 three-dart checkout, moving one leg away from the night's final with a 5-2 advantage.

Ultimately, Humphries sealed his spot in the final with a 6-3 victory, giving himself the chance to set a new record by winning five nightly events in the competition's new format.


Image credit: PDC

Final: Michael Smith vs. Luke Humphries

In the final match of the league stage of the 2024 Premier League, Luke Humphries and Michael Smith delivered a thrilling showdown for the fans. Humphries initially took a 2-1 lead, but the game truly ignited in the fourth leg when "Cool Hand Luke" hit a stunning 170 checkout to extend his lead to 3-1.

Smith responded impressively with a sensational 140 checkout, narrowing the gap to 3-2. He continued his fine finishing with a 96 checkout to tie the game at 3-3, marking his second consecutive leg win.

With momentum fully on his side, Smith rapidly won the next two legs to take a 5-3 lead. In a crucial moment, Smith secured his second Premier League night victory of the season by defeating Humphries 6-3, 15 weeks after his first win in Cardiff.

For more exclusive interviews, news, and guides in the world of darts, make sure to stay connected with  

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.