This Week In Darts – 24th Of February 2024


Littler Loses Premier League Semi-Final vs. Van Gerwen

In a blockbuster bout, Michael van Gerwen knocked teenage sensation Luke Littler out of the Premier League semi-final. During the contest earlier this week, the pair traded holds of throw over the first four legs of the match, with both players struggling to find their top form.

Littler found the first 180 of the match, but failed with two shots at his beloved double-ten, allowing the Dutchman to gain some ground for a superb hold for 4-2. A double-ten would eventually help Littler close the gap, but Van Gerwen easily restored his two-leg lead to move within just one of the final.

The reigning Premier League champ continued to keep his head in the decider, finishing in style with a double 18 before letting out a mighty roar and sharing a warm embrace with his new rival.

Earlier, Littler inched by Peter Wright 6-5 in a thrilling quarter-final. Soaking up the love from the crowd, the teen opened a fan’s FIFA pack during his walkout to the oche then raced to a 2-0 lead before being pegged back 2-2 by Snakebite. He then checked out with an impressive 170 – celebrating by pretending to reel in the Big Fish

Michael van Gerwen would see off Gerwyn Price 6-4 to set up the match with Littler.


Van Gerwen Hat Trick: Dominance In The Premier League Nights

Dutchman Michael Van Gerwen would go on to make  it a hat trick of wins at the 2024 Premier League as he defeated Nathan Aspinall in the final at Newcastle.

After starting his evening with victory over Gerwyn Price, Van Gerwen would come through a close encounter with new found rival Luke Littler. Aspinall would spar off with, and defeat, Michael Smith and Rob Cross to pick up his first wins in this year’s Premier League.

The Dutchman was broken in the first leg and out of sight in the second with Aspinall up 2-0 in the blink of an eye. However, ‘The Green Machine’ would win the next three legs, which included back-to-back 11-darters to put the match back on throw.

While Aspinall had a chance at a 154 checkout, he would miss double 17. This caused Van Gerwen to click into gear with a ten-darter. Aspinall would continue to show his typical fighting spirit throughout the remainder of the match, but Van Gerwen would eventually shut it all down with double 18 to win his third Premier League Night in a row.


Overcoming Adversity: Wayne Mardle’s Battle With Sudden Illness

In 2009, Wayne Mardle found his darts-playing career come to a sudden standstill.

Now a coach and commentator on Sky Sports, Mardle had contracted a severe bout of mumps – which is an infection that causes mass swelling in the side of your face. This not only ended up limiting his mobility, but soon found him sidelined to the coaching and commentating side of the game.

It was about 18 months,” Mardle told Daily Star Sports. “I contracted mumps when I was world number five or six. From there, I went on a slide.”

He continues, “I was quite an aggressive player. I had energy. My wife is still of the opinion that that changed me forever. I became quite timid after that, I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t have the fight or will to win and that’s what my game was based on.”

After rival darts legend Phil Taylor spotted that something wasn’t right with the star, Mardle eventually found himself pulled from the Premier League. He would return to the oche a few years later, but not for very long as he had retired from playing in his late 30s.

During his playing career, Mardle was runner-up in three PDC majors, losing to Phil Taylor each time. He was also a five-time world semi-finalist before exiting the competitive side of the sport.


Analyzing The Form: Humphries Leads, While Cross & Searle Show Promise

As the World Darts Championship approaches, Luke Humphries tops the form guide. Now a three-time ranking TV event champ, he is the runaway favourite to win the 2024 event, with some incredible momentum on his side as he seeks to win his first ever World Championship crown.

With three quarter-final finishes already at Alexandra Place, Humphries may very well have a semi-final rematch with Michael Van Gerwen in his future. However, current performance trends seem to indicate that it will be one that ‘Cool Hand’ wins with ease.

Interestingly, other players highlighted to watch during the upcoming event include both Rob Cross and Ryan Searle – two athletes who’ve shown significant improvement and skill in recent competition.


Owen Bates & Keane Barry’s PDC Development Tour Rise

The first official tournament of the PDC Development Tour 2024 kicked off on Friday in Milton Keynes and has now advanced to the final sixteen.

Among the finalists of the youth circuit competition were Owen Bates and Keane Barry. Their performance signals a strong start to the season, demonstrating an impressive level of skill and determination that could very well end up shaping the future of the sport moving forward.

Opened to players ages 16-23, each PDC Development Tour tournament features a prize pool of 15,000 pounds to be divided. With the prize money, a ranking is established. At the end of the season, the numbers one and two not only receive an invitation to the World Darts Championship, but also a Tour Card for 2025 and 2026. Additionally, the ranking winner gets to compete in the Grand Slam.

Could promising hopefuls Bates or Barry find themselves advancing to these prestigious spots?

Only time will tell!