Luke Littler silences hostile crowd with Premier League Darts victory in Liverpool

Littler climbed back to the top of the Premier League table.

Jonathan Veal
Friday 26 April 2024 07:59 BST
Luke Littler gave the Liverpool crowd as good as he got (Peter Byrne/PA)
Luke Littler gave the Liverpool crowd as good as he got (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

Luke Littler silenced the boos in style after claiming a sweet Premier League Darts victory in Liverpool.

The 17-year-old was on the receiving end of jeers at the M&S Bank Arena, but turned them into cheers as he hammered Rob Cross 6-2 in the final, where the hostile crowd could not help but watch in admiration.

The 17-year-old has been a fans’ favourite since bursting onto the scene at the World Championship over Christmas but his antics on social media have not been well received on Merseyside.

Littler is an avid Manchester United fan and has enjoyed goading bitter rivals Liverpool in recent weeks as their quadruple hopes have crumbled.

Despite coming from nearby Warrington, he was jeered onto stage in unprecedented scenes, but took it in good spirit, reminding fans of the score in Wednesday night’s Merseyside derby ahead of his quarter-final win over Gerwyn Price.

Littler, whose showmanship has increased as he gets used to life in the spotlight, was engaging with fans during his semi-final against Nathan Aspinall and that seemed to inspire him as he won four legs in a row to turn a 5-2 deficit into a 6-5 win, surviving five match darts.

By the time of his final against Cross the crowd had simmered down, perhaps watching in awe of a brilliant performance.

He broke in the opening leg with a 111 checkout and did not look back, sprinting to an emphatic success, with an incredible 105 average.

Victory – his fifth weekly in in 13 nights – sends Littler back to the top of the Premier League table and puts him on the brink of securing his place at the four-man play-offs at the O2 in London and he could not have chosen a better place to do it.

“I knew what was coming this week, I was building up to it, I always engage with the crowd and in the semi-final I was playing with complete freedom,” he said.

“I just felt comfortable, I knew what was coming, I was glad to win.

“I was expecting the worst. It was a bit bad but I didn’t help myself, but I stayed calm and won all of my games.

“It is just banter, I knew what I got myself into and I knew what was going to happen. I knew it would be totally different, I was just happy tonight.

“I think I won!”

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