Luke Littler sets up rematch with Luke Humphries after win at Dutch Masters


Luke Littler sets up rematch with Luke Humphries after win at Dutch Masters

Luke Littler defeated Dirk van Duijvenbode at the Dutch Masters
Luke Littler defeated Dirk van Duijvenbode at the Dutch MastersKelly Deckers/PDC
The World Series of Darts continued on Friday night at the Maaspoort, Den Bosch, where the first night of the Dutch Darts Masters was played.

Eight top PDC players took on seven Dutchmen and one Belgian after Luke Littler (17) won the Bahrain Darts Masters a week ago.

It soon turned out to be a real top night for the home-playing Dutch, no fewer than four of whom managed to knock out their top eight opponents.

Tomorrow, the eight remaining players, five of whom are Dutch, will complete in the rest of the knockouts.

Nathan Aspinall 2-6 Danny Noppert

The first Dutchman to face a Premier League player was Danny Noppert. The world number seven faced the number four, Nathan Aspinall.

The Freeze was dominant, beating Aspinall by only allowing him one leg of his own.

Among others, a 12-darter and an 11-darter, with a 3-dart average of 95.68 versus 88.38 and a checkout percentage of 40 versus 28.57 were more than enough to eliminate The Asp.

Peter Wright 2-6 Kevin Doets

Then it was the turn of World Series debutant Kevin Doets, who faced two-time world champion and world number eight Peter Wright.

Doets, number 62 in the world, did not care and, like Noppert, made it a breeze to eliminate the top player.

He was two darts away from a 9-darter, put up a 3-dart average of 98.31 and threw six 180s to bowl Snakebite out.

Gerwyn Price 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh

The only match without a Dutchman in action saw Gerwyn Price take on Dimitri Van den Bergh.

Neither of those players had had a World Championship to write home about, but it did not show in the quality they produced.

Price threw a 3-dart average of 103.43 with three 180s, Van den Bergh 102.43 with five 180s and no fewer than 13 140+.

Price pulled off the win as his checkouts were in better order.

He threw out 75 per cent, six out of eight, while Van den Bergh managed that with only three out of 10 chances. It was therefore 6-3 for The Iceman.

Michael Smith 3-6 Gian van Veen

Gian van Veen then faced world champion Michael Smith, third in the world rankings.

He threw a good match and won 6-3, although he was helped by the fact that Smith did not have his best game, despite a 127 checkout. 

Van Veen was broken in the third leg, but won the next five legs, after which Smith could not come close.

The Poederoijen native had a 3-dart average of 90 and 37.5 per cent on checkouts, Smith could not match more than 88.22 and 30 per cent.

Rob Cross 5-6 Raymond van Barneveld

That was followed by the most exciting match of the evening. Raymond van Barneveld and Rob Cross played a true thriller and were little alike.

Two breaks on either side made it 5-5 and the 11th leg would bring the decision, in which Cross started.

He hit 96, while Van Barneveld had hit 24.

Voltage hit the triple 20, but missed two match darts on double 18, after which Van Barneveld did not fail on double 12, to loud cheers from the filled Maasport.

That was indicative of the way Barney claimed victory, throwing 75 per cent on checkouts compared to Cross' 25 per cent.

Luke Littler 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode

Dirk van Duijvenbode was the next Dutchman to try and beat a top player.

He faced prodigy Luke Littler, but could not reproduce the performance of his four previous compatriots, it was 6-2 for the 17-year-old Briton, who closed with a fine 150-finish.

Littler threw an average of 90.85 and broke three times.

Aubergenius countered with a disappointing 82.66 and managed to break once.

Luke Humphries 6-0 Jermaine Wattimena

The match between brand-new world champion Luke Humphries and Jermaine Wattimena was the least exciting of the evening, in a whitewash the Brit did not allow Wattimena a leg.

He threw a 3-dart average of 93.94 against 82.48 from The Machine Gun, who missed four darts on the double.

Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Vincent van der Voort

The final match of the evening guaranteed that another Dutchman would join the quarter-finals.

Vincent van der Voor t had played his last match almost three months ago and it showed.

He entered against Michael van Gerwen and managed to keep one leg at home. Van Gerwen needed little effort and had a 3-dart average of 94.06 against Van der Voort's 83.42.


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