Luke Littler his defeats the JDC Super 16 title

Following a thrilling 5-3 victory over Thomas Banks in the JDC Super 16 championship match at the Marshall Arena on Sunday, Luke Littler successfully defended his title in Milton Keynes.

Littler won a thrilling match to continue his remarkable advancement in the sport continues, Littler won the title last year by whitewashing Eleanor Cairns.

Littler, the JDC World Junior Champion, needed just three legs in the qualifying competition in November to guarantee his spot in the championship round. Banks, who finished first in this year’s JDC Super 16 Order of Merit, also advanced admirably.

Reigning champion Littler drew first blood in Sunday’s showpiece, but Banks responded with a clinical 81 finish on the bullseye for a 12-dart leveller.

Littler responded with his own 12-darter, converting a sublime 140 checkout to reclaim the lead before extending his lead with a 14-darter via double one.

Banks punished the 16-year-five old’s missed darts at double to cut the deficit to 3-2, and he continued his charge with a 14-dart hold to restore parity at three apiece.

The Harlow ace, however, was unable to register a dart at double for a 103 checkout in leg seven, and Littler took advantage, following up a two-dart 89 finish with a 13-dart break to secure the title.

Littler, who was crowned JDC World Junior Champion in December, will now compete in the UK Open at Butlin’s Minehead Resort in March.

On his 16th birthday, the Warrington star won the Rileys Amateur Qualifier in Chorlton last Saturday, and he is looking forward to making his senior PDC televised debut.

Luke Littler his defeats the JDC Super 16 title
Luke Littler his defeats the JDC Super 16 title (PDC)

“It’s another title which I’m happy with, and I’ve put in a really good performance,” reflected Littler, who averaged 96.98 and landed three 180s to scoop the £1,000 top prize.

“To win back-to-back titles is special. I lost to Keane [Barry] in 2020, last year I won against Eleanor, so it’s more history for me and more history for the JDC.”

“I’ve been playing well for a while now, and I cannot wait for the UK Open, it will be more experience for me,” added the teenage star.

“I was speaking to my sponsor – he has Nathan Aspinall and Lewy Williams on his team so it will be good fun, but win or lose it’s all experience for me and I will just take it in my stride.”