Humphries Hunts Premier League Hat-Trick

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COOL HAND LUKE CHASING SEEKING DUBLIN THREEPEAT

Luke Humphries is bidding to claim a third consecutive nightly victory in the BetMGM Premier League on Thursday, when the sport’s biggest roadshow rolls into Dublin.

Night Eight of the £1m tournament will see quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final played over the best of 11 legs at the 3Arena, with this week’s fixtures determined by league position of the eight stars following Night Seven.

Humphries occupies top spot in the table following back-to-back nightly wins in Brighton and Nottingham, and the world number one is brimming with confidence ahead of his Dublin debut.

The World Champion has produced some mesmerising displays over recent weeks, and is determined to extend his winning run in the Irish capital.

“Dublin holds a special place in my Mum’s heart,” revealed Humphries, who has landed 12 ton-plus averages in his 15 Premier League matches this season.

“My Grandad was Irish and I’ve never had the opportunity to play in Ireland before, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“I know Michael Smith and Michael van Gerwen have won three nights in a row, so it would be good to become the third player to achieve that.

“Things can change so quickly though, so it’s important for me to keep working hard and try and get myself in that top four at the end of the season.”

Humphries will take on Peter Wright in the evening’s opening quarter-final, after the Scot ended a run of six straight defeats with victory over Gerwyn Price in the Nottingham quarter-finals on Night Seven.

Wright defied a 103 average from Price before succumbing 6-1 to Humphries in the semi-finals, although the two-time World Champion is in defiant mood, despite his precarious league position.

“I’m still enjoying every single week,” insisted Wright, who is currently nine points adrift of the Play-Off places.

“I want to take points off everyone in the next few weeks, and if I can squeeze in the top four that’s great, but if I don’t, I’m going to enjoy it.

“I felt like I was competing last week. I was scoring well, and I enjoyed playing with that set-up.

“I’m feeling positive. My Premier League results haven’t been affecting me in other tournaments; I’ve been getting some consistent results on the floor, so I’m happy with that.”

Another blockbuster tussle pits reigning champion Van Gerwen against Price in a repeat of last year’s Dublin final, with both men determined to halt losing runs in the competition.

Following a run of three straight nightly wins in Berlin, Glasgow and Newcastle, Van Gerwen has slipped to second in the table following successive quarter-final exits in Exeter, Brighton and Nottingham.

Michael Van Gerwen celebrates with the trophy after winning the Cazoo Premier League Play-Offs. (Steven Paston/PDC )

Price, meanwhile, has recorded only a solitary victory since advancing to the Night One decider on home soil in Cardiff, but the 2023 table-topper has faced averages of 107, 109 and 105 during that run.

In the evening’s fourth quarter-final, Luke Littler will continue his bid for a maiden nightly victory when he plays Night One winner Michael Smith for a place in the semi-finals.

Littler produced the performance of the season to demolish Van Gerwen in the quarter-finals last week, averaging 114 to cap off an inspired display.

The 17-year-old has won six of his seven quarter-final ties so far and will be aiming to maintain that consistency against 2018 runner-up Smith, who has won two of the pair’s three meetings in 2024.

Rob Cross and Nathan Aspinall will also go head-to-head in the Emerald Isle, in a repeat of their quarter-final clash in Nottingham.

Aspinall has surged into Play-Off contention after featuring in three of the last four nightly finals, recording a hat-trick of wins against Cross during the past month.

The World Matchplay champion was denied a second nightly win by Humphries in last Thursday’s showpiece, while Cross has won five of his seven quarter-final encounters to date, losing out to Aspinall in the Night Five decider.

The 2024 BetMGM Premier League will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK & Ireland, through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.

2024 BetMGM Premier League

Night Eight,

Thursday March 21 – (3Arena, Dublin)

Quarter-Finals

Luke Humphries v Peter Wright

Nathan Aspinall v Rob Cross

Michael van Gerwen v Gerwyn Price

Luke Littler v Michael Smith

Semi-Finals

Humphries/Wright v Aspinall/Cross

Van Gerwen/Price v Littler/Smith

Final

Humphries/Wright/Aspinall/Cross v Van Gerwen/Price/Littler/Smith

—–ENDS—–

Images: PDC

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