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Rock And Littler Break New Ground On PDC Tour

Rock And Littler Break New Ground On PDC Tour

Alex Moss |


It was a week to remember for two of the bright young prospects in the world of darts, as Josh Rock, 23, and Luke Littler, 17, tasted success on the big stage. Here’s our look back at all things darts over the last seven days…


Josh Rock clinched his maiden European Tour title after beating Jonny Clayton 8-4 in the final of the Dutch Darts Championship.

The 2022 PDC World Youth Champion celebrated his second PDC ranking title, as he got the better of the former Premier League winner Clayton in Sunday night’s decider.

The Northern Irishman had lost to Clayton in his only previous European Tour final, back in April 2023, but avenged that result in style to take home the £30,000 top prize.

“This is the biggest win of my career, 100%,” Rock said. “I haven’t had very good luck against Jonny in finals.

“He beat me on the ProTour and in Graz (in 2023), but I felt really confident coming into this final.

“I said this weekend I was here to win the tournament. I have lost in so many finals, but I keep believing that I will win, and obviously today I proved that I can.

“I have always said my next one was going to be a major title and that’s my main focus, but I have proved that I can win on the big stage now.”

Rock’s run to the title in Rosmalen saw him start the weekend with a 104 average in a 6-3 win over Dirk van Duijvenbode in the second round.

He kicked off Sunday’s action with a 6-5 victory over Cameron Menzies in the last 16, before posting another 100-plus average in a 6-3 success against Gerwyn Price.

Rock saw off recent European Tour winner Martin Schindler 7-3 in the semi-finals, and from 4-4 in the final with Clayton he won the next four legs without reply to secure the title.

The weekend also saw perfection achieved as Ross Smith threw a nine-dart leg during his second round clash with the UK Open champion Dimitri Van den Bergh.

It was the third nine-darter to be thrown on the European Tour in 2024, with Smith’s perfect leg following nine-dart finishes from Luke Littler and Luke Humphries earlier this year.

The European Tour season resumes with the European Darts Open in Leverkusen from June 21-23.


Luke Littler produced a stunning nine-dart leg as he defeated Luke Humphries 11-7 to win the Premier League on Thursday night.

On a record-breaking night at The O2, in London, the 17-year-old, who is the youngest player to ever feature in the Premier League, capped off a dream debut season by winning the title.

In front of 14,000 fans, the biggest UK crowd in PDC history, Littler avenged his defeat to Humphries in January’s PDC World Darts Championship decider to pick up the first major of his career.

“I’m a major winner! It feels incredible,” said Littler, who averaged 105 and hit nine 180s in the final.

“It’s so good to win in front of my family. I was saying to Luke, I didn’t know what to do after I won!

“There were people doubting me when I was selected, but now I’ve picked up the trophy. They’re not doubting me anymore!

“I have been practicing really hard today. I was so focused, and I’m just so happy to add my name to the list of major winners.”

A thrilling final saw the two players locked at 5-5 going into the break, before Littler returned on stage and conjured up an incredible spell to pull clear.

The teenager won six of the next eight legs to win the title, kicking off the run with a nine-dart finish in the 11th leg, becoming only the second player alongside Phil Taylor to achieve perfection in a Premier League final.

Earlier in the night, Littler had beaten Michael Smith 10-5 and Humphries ended Michael van Gerwen’s reign as champion with a victory by the same scoreline.

For the reigning PDC World Champion Humphries, who was also making his full debut in the Premier League, he was typically gracious in defeat.

“I was trying to stick in there, but credit to Luke, he was fantastic there,” he said.

“Tonight Luke was much stronger than I was, and if you look at the season as a whole, he deserved to be Premier League champion.

“I think we’re the best two players in the world at the moment, and it was another great battle. I just love playing him, and we’re going to have plenty more battles in the future.

“I’m really proud to make the final. Of course I’m gutted not to win, but I’ve made six out of seven major finals now, and I can only build on this.”


The 40 countries competing in next month’s PDC World Cup of Darts have been confirmed.

Chinese Taipei are set to make their debut in the tournament after Teng-Lieh Pupo and An-Sheng Lu won through the recent Asia Qualifier to earn a spot in the field.

Siik Hwang Wong and Mohamad Nasir will represent Malaysia who qualified for the first time since 2014, whilst the experienced pair of Paul and Harith Lim will pair up for Singapore for the 10th time.

Norway will compete for the first time since 2016 and Bahrain, Guyana and Iceland all return for second appearances after making their debuts in 2023.

The World Cup is set to be take place at Frankfurt’s Eissporthalle from June 27-30, with the Welsh duo of Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton the current holders.

The world number one and three Luke Humphries and Michael Smith form a new partnership for England this year, whilst Michael van Gerwen, a three-time World Cup winner, is in line to return to the Netherlands team for the first time since 2021.

The complete 80-player line up of players is set to be finalised on Monday, June 3 after the PDC Nordic & Baltic Tour weekend in Finland.

Shop our World Cup of Darts collection and support your favourite darts stars with our range of darts and equipment.

Pictures: Jonas Hunold/PDC Europe/PDC

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