Match Report

2024 Premier League: Michael van Gerwen Wins Night 11 in Birmingham

Michael van Gerwen emerges victorious in Birmingham against Luke Littler, securing his first nightly win since week four in Newcastle.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-04-11

Naim Rosinski

14 minutes read

Night 11 at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham

As Night 11 unfolded at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham, the stage was set for an electrifying display of darting skill. With just six weeks left until the Play-offs at the O2 in London, every point became precious currency in the battle for the top four spots among the eight contenders.

Leading the charge into the evening was the prodigious talent Luke Littler, riding high after consecutive victories in Belfast and Manchester. His showdown with Rob Cross, a rematch of their gripping World Championship semi-final, promised to ignite the stage with anticipation.

Later in the evening, Nathan Aspinall squared off against Michael van Gerwen, who had been struggling to find his form, failing to reach a nightly final since his last victory in Newcastle on night four. Despite van Gerwen's recent downturn, Aspinall, in an interview with, affirmed his belief that the Dutchman remained the benchmark to surpass. For van Gerwen, a triumph would propel him back above Aspinall in the standings, yet a defeat could potentially jeopardise his foothold in the coveted top four spots.


Peter Wright vs. Luke Humphries

At the bottom of the table with only two wins to his name prior to tonight, Peter Wright faced a daunting task to keep his Play-offs hopes alive, knowing he realistically needed to win all remaining five Premier League nights.

Luke Humphries kicked off the encounter with a stunning 13-dart break of throw, setting a high standard early on. However, after narrowly missing two darts at double in the following leg, Wright capitalised swiftly, levelling the score with an impressive tops-tops finish. Maintaining his momentum, Wright comfortably held his throw in the third leg to edge ahead 2-1.

The momentum swung further in Wright's favour as he secured a third consecutive leg, breaking Humphries' throw once more, while Humphries struggled to maintain his scoring consistency, with a three-dart average hovering around 90. Wright extended his lead with a sensational 130 checkout, sealing it with a bullseye finish.

Yet, a sudden shift saw the world number one mount a surprising comeback. Despite Wright's initial dominance, Humphries clawed back two scrappy legs to narrow the deficit, capitalising on Wright's dip in performance. Humphries showcased brilliance with seven perfect darts in the eighth leg, only to narrowly miss the treble 17, halting his bid for a nine-darter, although he still had enough in the tank to level the score at 4-4.

Wright's missed opportunities in the subsequent leg gave Humphries a chance to seize control for the first time since the opening leg. In a remarkable turnaround, Humphries clinched the match with a composed 92 two-dart checkout, completing a stunning comeback against the two-time world champion and dealing a severe blow to Wright's dwindling Play-offs aspirations.


Image credit: PDC

Rob Cross vs. Luke Littler

The youthful sensation, Luke Littler, made a dazzling debut to the Birmingham stage, picking up right where he left off in Manchester with a seamless 90 two-dart checkout. However, Rob Cross swiftly retaliated, showcasing his prowess with a remarkable three-dart 102 checkout to level the score in the second leg.

Cross then capitalised on Littler's missed opportunities in the third leg, breaking the 17-year-old's throw with a composed finish on double two, securing a steady 2-1 lead. Littler struggled to find his rhythm in the following leg, falling behind as Cross surged ahead 3-1.

Yet, Littler sparked to life, demonstrating his resilience by winning the next two legs in just 15 darts each, levelling the game at 3-3 and denying Cross the chance to extend his lead. The momentum swung back in Littler's favour as he clinched his third consecutive leg to regain the lead at 4-3.

Cross, refusing to yield, held his throw in the eighth leg to even the score at 4-4 before executing a spectacular 85 checkout, sealed with a bullseye finish, to break Littler's throw and seize a 5-4 lead. In a tense moment, Cross missed a crucial match dart at double 20 with 120 left to clinch victory, granting Littler an opportunity to keep the match alive. Littler took advantage on the opening, hitting double 15 to force the match into a nail-biting one-leg decider.

With nerves of steel, Littler dominated the final leg, delivering another convincing 15-dart performance to secure victory and set up a thrilling semi-final clash with the reigning world champion later in the night.


Image credit: PDC

Gerwyn Price vs. Michael Smith

Fresh off his historic achievement of becoming only the second player ever to hit three nine-darters in the Premier League, matching Phil Taylor's illustrious record, Gerwyn Price entered Birmingham with high expectations. However, it was Michael Smith who made the initial breakthrough, taking advantage on a missed dart at bullseye from the Welshman to break his throw and seize the first leg. Smith continued his momentum, swiftly doubling his lead to 2-0 with a clinical 16-dart leg.

Price found himself in deep trouble after failing to convert a crucial dart at double eight, allowing Smith to capitalise with a sharp 13-dart leg and extend his lead to 3-0. The onslaught from Smith persisted as he rapidly wrapped up the fourth leg, edging closer to a potential whitewash.

A brief respite came for Price as he secured his first leg of the match, followed by a scintillating 91 three-dart checkout to break Smith's throw for the first time and narrow the deficit. Smith's missed opportunities allowed Price to claw back, winning three consecutive legs to close the gap to 4-3 in Smith's favour.

However, Smith regained his focus just in time, clinching the eighth leg with a superb 95 three-dart checkout to regain momentum and move within touching distance of victory. With composure, Smith sealed the deal with a composed two-dart 62 checkout, booking his spot in the night's semi-finals with a well-deserved win over Price.


Image credit: PDC

Michael van Gerwen vs. Nathan Aspinall

With only one victory in his last six Premier League appearances, Michael van Gerwen was under pressure to reignite his season and secure his place at the O2 in London. Despite a couple of missed opportunities at double 20, he began the match in the manner he desired, clinching the opening leg. The subsequent three legs witnessed straightforward holds of throw for both contenders, with neither able to mount a challenge for a break, leaving the game finely balanced at 2-2.

Nathan Aspinall then seized the initiative, capitalising on an opportunity to edge ahead with an impressive 85 checkout, culminating in a bullseye finish to secure the first break of throw and a 3-2 lead. Despite encountering some difficulty on doubles, Aspinall maintained control of the match, holding his throw to extend his lead by two legs.

However, his lead proved short-lived as van Gerwen rallied, salvaging a hold of throw before producing a remarkable 12-dart break to level the score at 4-4. The momentum swung decisively in van Gerwen's favour as he surged ahead with an incredible 152 three-dart checkout to claim a 5-4 lead. In the final leg, Aspinall struggled to challenge van Gerwen's dominance as the Dutchman sealed victory, reigniting his Premier League campaign with a 6-4 win.

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Image credit: PDC


Luke Humphries vs. Luke Littler

Since their memorable encounter in the World Championship final where Luke Humphries emerged victorious over the 17-year-old sensation, Luke Littler has turned the tables, claiming victory in their subsequent five meetings.

Humphries made a blazing start to the match, swiftly securing the first leg before stunning Littler with a remarkable 12-dart leg in the second, breaking his throw to establish an early two-leg lead.

Refusing to be outdone, Littler fought back after a sluggish start, responding with a stunning 12-dart leg of his own to break back against the world number one. Despite narrowly missing out on a perfect nine-dart leg with seven consecutive trebles, Littler maintained his composure to level the score at 2-2. The young prodigy continued to dominate, breaking Humphries for the second time with another impressive 12-dart leg, this time sealing it with a stylish three-dart 108 checkout. Littler then proceeded to clinch the next two legs in rapid succession, extending his lead to 5-2 with his fifth consecutive leg victory.

However, Humphries launched a remarkable comeback, winning the next two legs out of nowhere, capped off with a tops-tops finish to narrow the deficit to 5-4. Littler missed two match darts to seal his spot in the semis, providing Humphries with an opportunity to force a one-leg decider with the darts in hand.

Demonstrating immense composure under pressure, Littler crushed Humphries' hopes of a comeback, emphatically winning the final leg in just 13 darts to maintain his unbeaten streak against the reigning world champion.


Image credit: PDC

Michael Smith vs. Michael van Gerwen

In a slow-scoring start to the second semi-final of the night, both Michael Smith and Michael van Gerwen traded holds of throw in the opening four legs, leaving the game finely poised at 2-2.

Van Gerwen kicked into gear in the fifth leg, delivering a sharp 13-dart hold of throw to inject some momentum into the contest. However, Smith's response was sluggish as he struggled with his finishing, squandering seven darts at double before eventually securing a below-par 20-dart hold of throw to level the score at 3-3.

Smith came agonisingly close to securing the first break of the match in the seventh leg, narrowly missing the bullseye for a spectacular 170 finish. Yet, van Gerwen capitalised on the missed opportunity to steal the leg and snatch the first break of throw, courtesy of a composed 65 two-dart checkout, establishing a 5-3 lead.

In a bid to reignite the contest, Smith clawed back with a superb 107 checkout, breaking van Gerwen's throw to narrow the deficit to 5-4 in favour of the Dutchman. Despite Smith's valiant attempt at a comeback, van Gerwen remained composed, wrapping up the match in the following leg to secure his place in the final against Luke Littler.

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Image credit: PDC

Final: Luke Littler vs. Michael van Gerwen

In an unusual turn, Michael van Gerwen found himself as the underdog in a nightly final against the formidable 17-year-old, Luke Littler. Despite a slow start, Van Gerwen edged ahead 1-0 in an uncharacteristically average leg.

Littler responded, capitalising on missed opportunities to snatch a 2-1 lead with a break of throw. Van Gerwen showcased flashes of brilliance with a 125 checkout to level the score, but Littler reclaimed the lead at 3-2. 

The match remained unpredictable, with both players struggling to find their form. Van Gerwen seized the lead 4-3 before unleashing a spectacular 12-dart leg to extend his advantage to 5-3. In the final leg, Van Gerwen sealed victory with a remarkable 96 checkout, securing his first Premier League nightly win since week four in Newcastle.

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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.