Michael van Gerwen secured his first nightly win of the 2024 Premier League Darts, defeating Luke Littler 6-5 to cap off an excellent night of darts at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin.
The defending Premier League Darts champion, who won this event in 2022 in this venue against Joe Cullen after The Rockstar missed a dart for the title, survived two match darts this time round to close out a night of comebacks and last leg deciders.
It’s now 2/3 for van Gerwen against Littler in finals already this year, having beaten the teenager to secure the Dutch Darts Masters 12 days ago. The Nuke of course beat The Green Machine in the Bahrain Darts Masters final last month, securing his first PDC senior title.
MvG secures first nightly win of 2024 Premier League Darts season
Littler won the opening two legs, before MvG reeled off two legs himself to draw level. Both then held twice to leave an absorbing contest level at 4-4.
The Nuke then missed a chance to break in the ninth leg, allowing the seven time Premier League champion to hold and move within one. The teenager though put it out of his mind, holding to save the match and force a decider.
In the 11th leg, van Gerwen missed bull for a 122 and the match, while Littler missed two at his beloved double 10 to snatch it. In the end, the Dutchman hit double four to take the nightly victory.
In their earlier matches, Van Gerwen fought back to beat Nathan Aspinall in the first quarter final. Aspinall won the first three legs, before missing three darts for 4-0 and another three darts for a 5-2 lead. This allowed Van Gerwen back into the match, as The Green Machine took advantage to win the next four legs.
MvG’s semi final was another game of twists and turns. Losing the opening leg to Michael Smith, he then won the next four to take control. The 2023 World Champion though fought back, winning four in a row himself to go within one of the match. He would not get a dart at it though, as van Gerwen held in 15 to force a decider, before hitting an 11 darter on double 16 to close it out.
Littler won two last leg deciders to reach the final himself. Nuke averaged nine points higher than Rob Cross in his quarter final, but could not put him away. The game, which featured three ton plus checkouts, went all the way to a decider, where Littler hit double 15 to prevail 6-5.
Littler then played Luke Humphries in his semi final, a rematch of the 2024 World Darts Championship Final. Both held in the first four legs, before an 11 darter from Cool Hand gave him the break to lead 3-2. Littler then won three legs on the spin, before Humphries held to set up a decider, where the teenager took out 308 in seven darts to advance. It marked Littler’s second straight win over the World Champion on the Premier League stage, having beat him in last week’s quarter finals.
What else happened?
Smith and Humphries could not come through their last leg deciders, but did pick up two points for making the last four.
Smith remains top of the table thanks to a quarter final victory over Gerwyn Price 6-5 in a repeat of last week’s final. The Bully Boy went 3-0 down, but came back to level at 3-3 which included a 170 checkout. The Iceman landed a Big Fish checkout of his own to level at 5-5, before Smith came through the deciding leg.
Humphries saw off Peter Wright 6-4 to get his first points of the 2024 Premier League Darts, in a game where both produced some excellent darts. Snakebite went 3-2 in front, but missed two darts to go 4-2 up. Humphries then pinged double five to level, before holding twice, eventually hitting two double eights to claim his first points of the campaign.
The 2024 BetMGM Premier League Darts visits Glasgow next Thursday.
2024 BetMGM Premier League Darts Night Two Results
Mercedes-Benz, Arena Berlin
Thursday 8 February
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Luke Littler
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Michael Smith
Luke Littler 6-5 Luke Humphries
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Michael Smith 6-5 Gerwyn Price
Luke Littler 6-5 Rob Cross
Luke Humphries 6-4 Peter Wright