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World Darts Championship: Luke Littler's dreams ended by Luke Humphries in sensational final

Luke Littler defeated 7-4 by world No 1 Luke Humphries in final; Premier League Darts returns to Sky Sports on Thursday February 1 as Cardiff kicks off the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs on Thursday May 23 at London's O2

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Check out the best moments from the 2024 World Darts Championship

Luke Littler's World Darts Championship dreams were finally ended by world No 1 Luke Humphries in a sensational final at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday night.

Humphries fought back from 4-2 down to win five consecutive sets and claim his maiden world title 7-4 to make it four major victories in a row following his success at the World Grand Prix, Grand Slam of Darts, and Players Championship Finals in recent months.

"I'll draw a lot from this and this will be a moment that will never be forgotten," Humphries told Sky Sports. "I don't want to say that I've completed darts but everything that you want on the resume I've done now, so now it's now about motivating yourself to do more and more.

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Humphries said he couldn't ask for more after claiming the World Darts Championship title

World Darts Championship Final

Luke Humphries 7-4 Luke Littler

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Luke Humphries hits the winning darts to defeat Luke Littler 7-4 in the World Darts Championship final

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Littler was pleased with his incredible run to the final, despite defeat to Humphries

Humphries may have been the champion, but Littler received a hero's reception at the end of the match and he is the story of the tournament.

Life will never be the same for Littler, who now has a global profile, as his exploits have transcended the world of darts.

He may have fallen just short of achieving sporting immortality, but this is just the beginning for Littler and his time will surely come, with many tipping him to become a multiple world champion

The 16-year-old from Warrington said: "It has been unbelievable. The one negative was I lost too many legs with my throw so Luke could break me.

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"That was the only negative, I just couldn't hold my own throw and I didn't win. Every game has been good but that one has just really annoyed me, especially the three missed to keep it going.

"That's what the crowd wanted but fair play to Luke, he deserves it."

Humphries started the better by capitalising on a slow start from Littler to take the opening set 3-1 with a 99.2 average despite eight missed darts at doubles.

It didn't take 'The Nuke' long to discover his best in the second set, coming from 2-1 down by producing two 12-dart legs with the aid of a spectacular 142 checkout and a 'Shanghai' 120 finish.

History for Humphries


2011-12 - Luke Humphries wins Β£225 from 16 Development Tour events and soon after stops playing darts.

18 months later, a friend was a player short in his Super League team and Luke steps in to help out.

Wednesday night: Humphries wins the PDC World Championship and is world No 1.

Combined age of darts finalists

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Littler hit checkouts of 142 and 120 checkouts to win the second set

The third set also went the distance with 'Cool Hand' edging it from 2-0 down to regain the upper hand with a 116 checkout to take it, but the Warrington teenage sensation struck back to secure the fourth set 3-1 and restore parity with a 99 average and an impressive 47 per cent on the doubles.

It was 2-2 in sets and 9-9 in legs with nothing to separate the two players.

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Littler took out this amazing 122 checkout to the despair of Humphries

For the first time in the match, the player who started the set won it after nine break of throws in 22 legs, with World Youth Champion Littler going ahead for the first time in the match before wrapping up the fifth set, averaging a ton.

The new world No 1 found himself under pressure here as Littler made it nine legs from the last 11 to open up a two-set advantage at 4-2.

Humphries reeled in his second 170 finish in a matter of days in a seventh set which was full of carnage.

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Humphries took out 'The Big Fish' in the final

Littler responded with a third ton-plus finish of the final - a 122 checkout - which Wayne Mardle described as "spiteful, dirty, nasty!" in the commentary box, before Humphries survived a set dart with Littler missing a crucial double 2 for a 5-2 lead.

The three-time major winner immediately capitalised on double 14 to reduce the deficit.

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Could this have been the moment that Littler's grip on the World Championship title slipped away?

And Humphries piled in a classy 121 checkout on the bull to make it back-to-back sets to get back on level terms with a 114.17 set average, but it also coincided with Littler dropping off.

The 28-year-old Newbury thrower threw back-to-back 108 checkouts to lead 2-0 in the ninth set and although the teenager battled back to level up, a 180 to start the set and a 36 checkout enabled Humphries to win the leg and set in 11 darts.

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Humphries also sunk this 121 checkout in a sensational final

A relentless Humphries made it four sets on the spin as he took full control of the final to go within a set of the title, despite Littler reeling in a 'Big Fish' of his own.

However, it was 'Cool Hand' who got his hands on the Sid Waddell Trophy to become the 12th different PDC World Champion after pinning double 8 for the match and then sinking to his knees in pure joy.

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Humphries pinned back-to-back 108 checkouts

Talking about Littler, Humphries said: "I'm not just saying this because it will please everyone, but Luke has been an unbelievable talent.

"Not just about the dartboard, he has been fantastic with all the media that has come about with him and he took the defeat so well.

"He said go on and celebrate. You will never see another down-to-earth 16-year-old kid like him who is just something else.

"I really hope he's in the Premier League because, if he don't want to play in it fair enough, but I think he'd be a pleasure to play alongside this year.

"He's one of the best players in the world, there is no doubt about that."

Humphries a record-breaker


Humphries' 103.67 average is the highest ever recorded in a match of 45+ legs

His win included 23 180s and five 100+ checkouts

Highest winning averages in World Darts Championship final

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Littler nailed his own 170 checkout in an incredible final

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Watch highlights of Humphries' thrilling win over Littler in the World Championship final

How the world of social media reacted to Humphries win...

Premier League Darts returns to Sky Sports on Thursday February 1 as Cardiff kicks off the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs on Thursday May 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW

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