Luke Littler overcomes boos in Newcastle to defeat Peter Wright in Premier League thriller | Other | Sport

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Luke Littler overcomes boos in Newcastle to defeat Peter Wright in Premier League thriller | Other | Sport

Luke Littler played up to the Newcastle crowd and powered through a hostile atmosphere to defeat Peter Wright in a thrilling 11th-leg decider on Thursday night. The duo’s Premier League Darts quarter-final clash didn’t disappoint as Littler displayed his blockbuster talent, and Wright produced his best performance for months.

Littler will have fancied his chances against Wright – the last remaining Premier League player without a single point – heading into their clash at the Utilita Arena on Tyneside. The pair had never previously met in competitive play and their recent form could hardly be more contrasting.

But Wright channelled the crowd’s energy, having emerged in a flamboyant black and white outfit, to produce a performance far beyond what he had shown in three prior weeks of Premier League action.

Littler, meanwhile, was booed by sections of the crowd, presumably for a string of social media posts poking fun at Newcastle United back in December. The 17-year-old didn’t shy away from the hostility as he wheeled out his trademark ‘Big Fish’ celebration after hitting a 170 checkout.

The match ebbed and flowed as Littler raced into a two-leg lead, before being reeled back in by ‘Snakebite’. It was within Wright’s grasp when he broke the youngster to make it 5-4 and throw for a place in the semi-finals.

But Littler broke back immediately, setting up an 11th-leg decider with the darts, and he took out 64 to leave Wright pointless at the foot of the table.

Wright and Littler both averaged north of 103 and hit six maximums apiece in their Newcastle showdown. Victory for ‘The Nuke’ set up a semi-final clash with table-topper Michael van Gerwen after his 6-4 win over Gerwyn Price later in the evening.

Littler and reigning Premier League champion Van Gerwen have met three times since the World Darts Championship back in January. Littler prevailed in the final of the Bahrain Darts Masters, before ‘Mighty Mike’ bounced back with consecutive wins in Den Bosch and in the final of Premier League night two.

Elsewhere in Newcastle’s entertaining round of quarter-finals; Nathan Aspinall put his first points on the board by defeating Michael Smith 6-5, and Rob Cross beat reigning world champion Luke Humphries by the same scoreline.

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