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Mardle: Littler produces exciting darts but you don’t know what’s coming next

Wayne Mardle says teenage sensation Luke Littler produces “exciting darts but you don’t know what’s coming next” following his thrilling Premier League quarter-final exit to Gerwyn Price in Glasgow on Thursday.

Littler, 17, made an early exit in Scotland after a thrilling battle with Welshman Price, eventually losing a last-leg decider at a packed OVO Hydro.

In a match of high quality, Price missed double 12 for a nine-darter, while the teenager landed a 10-darter and a 138 finish.

Price and Aspinall both marginally missed out on nine-darters on an incredible night of darts in Scotland

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The 2021 world champion just failed with double 12 for a perfect leg at 3-2 down and after Littler went 4-3 up Price came back to win the next two legs.

The young Warrington ace levelled at 5-5 but Price triumphed 6-5 in a tense decider.

“There did have to be a loser but I’ve got to say Gerwyn Price looked so smooth, he looked so comfortable and when the 57 went in he threw such a precise dart there wasn’t enough room for another one in there (after a bounce out). He was really unlucky but got his chance to finish it off,” Mardle told Sky Sports.

Littler took out this magical 138 during his quarter-final match against Price

“It could have been a rout really because he was outscoring Luke Littler to some tune. Luke just couldn’t hit his doubles, but the scoring from Gezzy leg in, leg out was far superior. He kept buying himself opportunities but missing, but held it together.

“That last leg, Luke Littler produces exciting darts. He just does and he’s very, very difficult to beat. He goes through these phases in games where he hits a 12-darter, followed by a 10. You don’t really know what’s coming with him and then he goes through a spell of 60, 59 and then it will be followed by a 180 and 140.

“The players can’t relax and you could see that with Gerwyn Price, but he was magnificent.

“I like Gezzy because he brings something different to the game. The way he plays the game he adds this passion and aggression it’s not him.

“When he was flying tonight it was great watching that. He offers something and it’s good to see.”

Littler has taken the world by storm since the teenager reached the World Championship final in January

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Michael Van Gerwen celebrates with the trophy after winning against Gerwyn Price in the final during the Cazoo Premier League Play-Offs. Photo credit should read: Steven Paston/PDC ..RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.
Image: Michael van Gerwen is the seven-time Premier League champion

Premier League Darts now heads to the Newcastle’s Utilita Arena next Thursday night.

Price stars on Night Four as he takes on Van Gerwen in a repeat of last year’s final, while Littler faces Wright, Smith goes up against Aspinall and Cross battles World Champion and No 1 Humphries.

Fixtures: Night Four, Newcastle’s Utilita Arena, Thursday February 22

 
Quarter-finals
Michael Smith vs Nathan Aspinall
Rob Cross vs Luke Humphries
Peter Wright vs Luke Littler
Gerwyn Price vs Michael van Gerwen

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2024 Premier League Darts schedule

 
Night 4 Utilita Arena, Newcastle Feb 22
Night 5 Westpoint Exeter Feb 29
Night 6 The Brighton Centre March 7
Night 7 Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham March 14
Night 8 3Arena, Dublin March 21
Night 9 SSE Arena, Belfast March 28
Night 10 AO Arena, Manchester April 4
Night 11 Utilita Arena, Birmingham April 11
Night 12 Rotterdam Ahoy April 18
Night 13 M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool April 25
Night 14 P&J Live, Aberdeen May 2
Night 15 First Direct Arena, Leeds May 9
Night 16 Utilita Arena, Sheffield May 16
Play-Offs The O2, London May 23

Premier League Darts continues on Sky Sports on Thursday, February 22 with Newcastle the next stop on the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday, May 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW

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