Luke Littler: Wayne Mardle doesn't see a ceiling in teenager's game after Premier League Darts win in Belfast

by 24britishtvMarch 29, 2024, 1 p.m. 18
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Luke Littler doesn't have a ceiling in his game according to Sky Sports Darts' Wayne Mardle after the teenager won his first Premier League Darts night event in Belfast.

Littler's rapid rise continued as he edged out world champion Luke Humphries in the quarter-finals of Night 9 on Thursday, before beating Michael van Gerwen in the semi-finals and came back to defeat Nathan Aspinall in the final.

It's the latest success in Littler's short but impressive professional career after he finished runner-up in the World Championship in January before winning the Bahrain Darts Masters, his first Players Championship and the Belgian Darts Open on his European Tour debut.
• Luke Littler vs Michael Van Gerwen - Darts' new rivalry for years to come?
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He has also hit three nine-darters in the last three months but changed his throwing style on Thursday with a slight delay between throws one and two, showing his adaptability which Mardle was impressed by.

"He does what he likes. I think this might be the way forward for many players. Don't worry about it and get on with it," said Mardle.

"It's just great to watch. He so reminds me of Michael [Van Gerwen]. I don't see a ceiling in his game, I just think that he can play as well as he likes sometimes.

"Look at the 114 average he had against MVG a few weeks ago, I just see that he can do these amazing things with a set of 22g tungsten. It's just madness what he can do at such a ripe old age of 17.

"I've never seen anyone be like Michael van Gerwen. Probably the closest anyone came, or maybe even better, was Eric Bristow at 17. Not bad names to be connected with."

Littler's win vaults him up to second in the Premier League Darts table after starting the night in Belfast outside of the top four play-off places.

He didn't qualify for the German Darts Grand Prix this weekend, so will next play on Thursday in Manchester on Night 10 of the Premier League Darts, where Van Gerwen awaits in the quarter-finals.

Sky Sports Darts' Mark Webster thinks Littler is managing his schedule well and deserves his first Premier League win.

"I can't believe it's taken until Week Nine because he's been that good. Credit to him," said Webster.

"He's had a few setbacks and was disappointed last week but he's been working hard on his game, practicing with Rob Cross and changing the style of the way he throws.

"He's such a mature player despite being 17. He's got a lot to juggle and is so early in his career where there's a lot happening.

"He's got a weekend off after not qualifying for Munich and that might be a blessing in disguise for next week in Manchester."

Premier League Darts now heads to the AO Arena in Manchester for Night 10 of the action on Thursday April 4 - live on Sky Sports Darts and Sky Sports Main Event.

Night 10 will see Nathan Aspinall vs Rob Cross start the night before Luke Littler faces Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith takes on Luke Humphries, and Gerwyn Price is up against Peter Wright.

Premier League Darts continues on Sky Sports on Thursday April 4 as Manchester is the next stop on the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday, May 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW

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