Sixteen year old storms into World Championship semi finals

01/01/2024

Sixteen-year-old storms into World Championship semi-finals

Luke Littler is just two wins away from becoming world champion after continuing his amazing Alexandra Palace journey.

The 16-year-old has taken the World Championship by storm and became the youngest ever semi-finalist by beating Brendan Dolan 5-1 in the last eight.

It was a new year but the same brilliance from the precocious Littler, who is on the cusp of producing one of the greatest sporting stories of all time.

A semi-final against 2018 winner Rob Cross is next up before a likely meeting with Michael van Gerwen in the final, but Littler is a genuine contender to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy on Wednesday.

The debutant has already proven he is ready to compete on the biggest stage after taking out UK Open winner Andrew Gilding and his hero Raymond van Barneveld on his way to the last eight and he maintained that form against Dolan.

The Northern Irishman had beaten former world champions Gerwyn Price and Gary Anderson but could not live with Littler, who finished with an average of 101.93 to thrill his adoring fans inside Ally Pally.

This performance will only heighten Littler’s celebrity status. His exploits have already transcended the world of darts, with the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) coming under increasing pressure to hand him a place in the forthcoming Premier League.

He warmed up for his match by sharing a box at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with England international James Maddison to watch Spurs’ Premier League match with Bournemouth on Sunday, while he has had pictures and exchanged messages with a host of other top footballers.

But it is his darts that continue to do the talking and he was in complete command again on Monday.

Dolan took out 101 in the opening leg to break Littler’s throw, but from then on it was one-way traffic.

Littler went about his business in his usual manner and eased into a 4-0 lead.

A whitewash was on the cards, but Dolan took out 118 to finally get on the board.

It was just a stay of execution, though, as Littler came back to see out a memorable win.

He will meet Cross in the final after the 2018 champion produced one of the most memorable Alexandra Palace comebacks.

Cross looked dead and buried when he was 4-0 down after barely 45 minutes as Chris Dobey played one of the matches of his life.

However, the off-stage break worked wonders for Cross as the former electrician sparked into life.

He reeled off four sets of his own and then took out 130 to seal a famous win.

But Cross knows he will have to improve if he is to stop the Littler train.

“Everyone loves an underdog story,” he said. “As the public and people looking at the game, everyone loves an underdog story.

“I am not being rude, I am on his side, I love an underdog story.

“It took a bit of pressure off me winning it first time as well.

“He’s fantastic and he deserves all the luck in the world, he is a nice young boy. Tomorrow we play darts, though, and I have to go down to business.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub



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