Luke Littler fairytale ends as Luke Humphries wins in World Darts Championship final


Humphries edged a thrilling contest at Ally Pally (Picture: Getty)

Luke Humphries has beaten Luke Littler in the World Darts Championship final, ending the teenager’s fairytale run in the competition at the final hurdle.

The 16-year-old has become an overnight sporting sensation, beating former world champions in a remarkable run to reach the final in his first ever appearance in the competition.

But Humphries proved why he is the no1 player in darts, sealing a 7-4 victory at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday night.

The 28-year-old extends his unbeaten run to 19 games, having climbed to no1 in the rankings with his demolition job on Scott Williams in Tuesday’s semi-final.

Humphries proved to be a test too far for Littler with ‘Cool Hand’ showing incredible resolve of his own, coming from two sets behind and winning five in a row to win the title.

As was the case against Rob Cross on Tuesday night, Littler lost the opening set with Humphries quickly finding his groove but on the brink of dropping another, the youngster roared back in the second, finishing with a sublime 120 to level the match.

After some uncomfortable moments early on, Littler was flowing in the third but from two legs down, it was Humphries’ turn to fight back and take the set after checking out on 116.

Luke Humphries

Humphries won five sets on the bounce in a thrilling comeback (Picture: Getty)

Levelling the contest at 2-2 in another engrossing set, Littler took the lead for the first time in the fifth, holding his nerve after multiple missed darts from both men with the Nuke holding on.

Humphries was now unsettled, with Littler in the sort of rhythm that saw him run riot against everyone stood in his way throughout the competition. The world no1 was mauled in the sixth as Littler opened up a two-set lead.

Humphries responded with a stunning 170 maximum finish but undid that work after missing three darts at double, allowing his opponent to break back again. Needing to finish on a double two, Littler showed hesitation for perhaps the first time in the competition, missing the target with Humphries pouncing to pull back the set and keep the contest alive at 4-3.

Having been on the brink of falling three sets behind, Humphries levelled again moments later in exquisite fashion, finishing with a bullseye to complete a superb turnaround.

Humphries made it three consecutive sets to take a 5-4 lead, drawing applause from Littler before moving a set away from victory.

An incredible final was given the ending it deserved with absorbing drama right until the end. Humphries finished things off with a double eight to scoop his first ever world title.

Littler went into the final having already made history in becoming the youngest ever World Darts Championship finalist and was looking to go one better in eclipsing the record of Michael van Gerwen, who was eight years older when he won his first world title in 2014 at the age of 24.

Having only played four senior PDC matches prior to his World Championship debut, he began his run with a first-round win over Christian Kist on 20 December before sending UK Open champion Andrew Gilding packing just before Christmas.

Having initially set himself the target of staying in the competition until after Christmas, he saw off Matt Campbell before producing a sensational performance to beat five-time world champion and childhood hero Raymond van Barneveld to reach the last 16.

Littler demolished Brendan Dolan to reach the final four, holding his nerve after losing the opening set to beat Rob Cross on Tuesday night. While his debut campaign ended in disappointment, there will be plenty more huge nights ahead.

MORE : How to throw a dart like Luke Littler – according to science

MORE : Luke Littler invited to Manchester United vs Tottenham after fairytale World Darts Championship final run

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