Premier League Darts leader Humphries going for hat-trick in Dublin


Premier League Darts leader Humphries going for hat-trick in Dublin

Luke Humphries during his walk-on in Nottingham
Luke Humphries during his walk-on in NottinghamProfimedia
The eighth evening of the Premier League is being played in Dublin on Thursday (21st), which means the competition will soon be halfway through. Luke Humphries (29) is the man in form with two wins in a row, making him the frontrunner. Lower down in the standings, it remains exciting and everything is still wide open.

Luke Humphries vs Peter Wright

Humphries is in the best shape of all the players and is not first in the Premier League for nothing. He won two nights in a row in Brighton and Nottingham, accumulating 17 points. He passed Michael van Gerwen, who has 15 points, by winning the final. But Humphries did not win the tournaments lightly.

In Brighton, he threw an average above 100 every match, even throwing a match 113 average and last week he threw 106 once and a 103 average once. Insane figures from the world champion, who started the year with difficulty. Humphries did not take part in the fifth Players Championship in Germany.

His opponent Peter Wright did. He previously reached a quarter-final and a semi-final on the floor and also threw well in Hildesheim on Monday. Wright reached the quarter-finals, beating Van Gerwen among others on the way. He again lost out to compatriot Gary Anderson. Wright is also finally off the dreaded zero points in the Premier League. Last week, he beat Gerwyn Price, who missed three match darts. Wright lost in the semi-final and now has two points. With that, he is still last.

Nathan Aspinall vs Rob Cross

Nathan Aspinall has recovered very well in the Premier League. After a very rough start, in which he was scoreless for three weeks, he has fought his way back into the top four. Aspinall reached the final during the fourth, fifth and seventh finals last week.

On the fifth night in Exeter, he won the final against his opponent on Thursday, Rob Cross. Aspinall could especially look back on a good semi-final last week. He beat Luke Littler with an average of over 104. Aspinall has 11 points. He was not in action at the floor tournament in Germany on Monday.

Cross also has 11 points, but a worse leg balance than Aspinall. Last week, he lost to 'The Asp' in the first round and thus also in the fifth-evening final. So Cross is looking for revenge and will only be too happy to do so. After all, a win will see him move over Aspinall. Cross was also not in action at the floor tournament in Hildesheim.

Michael van Gerwen vs Gerwyn Price

Van Gerwen is in less form than at the start of this year. He lost five matches in a row until Monday. Indeed, he participated in the floor tournament and managed to win again there. He eventually won three times and made it to the last 16, but had to yield to Wright there.

Van Gerwen played moderately at the UK Open where he suffered a shoulder injury, but it would be wrong to say he played poorly. Indeed, he lost by an average of 110 against Littler last week. This made Van Gerwen the sixth player to lose by an average of 110 or higher. He is still second with 15 points, gained in three weeks by winning three nights in a row. Other than that, Van Gerwen has lost in the first round every time.

The Dutchman takes on someone who is also searching for his good form. Price has only five points and gained three of them on the first night in Cardiff. The third evening saw the other two points, but otherwise, the Welshman has lost every time. Four nights in a row he has failed to win and last week he missed three match darts against Wright. So Price needs to win. He is already trailing, but with a good night, he might be back in touch.

Van Gerwen and Littler in Nottingham
Van Gerwen and Littler in NottinghamProfimedia

Luke Littler vs Michael Smith

Littler is the Premier League's number three with 13 points, but what will bother him is that he does not have a win yet. Littler shone last week against Van Gerwen with a 114 average and almost threw a nine-darter in the last leg, but he missed double 12.

The problem this season is that Littler has yet to play a full evening well. And that is somewhat odd, because on the European Tour, for example, he does it. Indeed, he won the first tournament in Belgium. Often he does survive the first round and in doing so he already picked up two points five times. Once he got three by reaching the final. Littler was also absent from the floor in Germany last Monday.

Michael Smith was and even threw a nine-darter there. He did so in the last 16 against Raymond van Barneveld, but he did lose that match 6-3. Smith has 10 points and took half of them on the first night he won. Smith won two matches a fortnight ago and made it to the final, which he lost to Humphries. Otherwise, Smith has won only one match and has gone down four times in the first round. Smith is sixth and thus desperately needs points to get into the top four.


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