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Luke Humphries secures first Premier League win

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Luke Humphries secures first Premier League win

Luke Humphries registered his first Premier League night win as the world champion defeated Michael Smith 6-3 in Brighton.

The final of the tournament’s sixth night saw world number one Humphries, a competition debutant this year, surge into a 5-1 lead.

Smith, the 2023 world champion and winner of night one in Cardiff, hit back but ‘Cool Hand Luke’ was not to be denied.

Humphries said on Sky Sports: “I felt like I haven’t played my best, since the Worlds maybe for the first six weeks, and I’ve come back playing a lot better. Sometimes it takes a bit of time.

“I think after the Worlds, the way I played, everyone expected me to win everything, and that’s not going to happen. There is so much great talent out there, so many great players, and winning nights like these is fantastic because they are really hard. I’m really proud the way I played tonight.

“My dad said ‘you look a million dollars, you look like you’re throwing like you were in the Worlds’.

“I did feel really good after the Worlds – unfortunately some things happened. My Nan passed away and that did have an affect on me. But that’s no excuse. You build again, you go again, and I think in the last couple of weeks my mind has been straight again and I feel really good.

“I felt really good at the UK Open (last weekend, when he was a beaten finalist), I just didn’t win, but tonight that’s the best I’ve played since the Worlds, and the best I’ve felt.”

Humphries, who averaged 101.04 against Smith, had advanced to it by defeating Rob Cross 6-3 with an average of 113.71. It was the same score as Smith won his semi against 17-year-old World Championship runner-up Luke Littler.

In the quarter-finals, Humphries got past Gerwyn Price 6-2 and Smith ended a three-match losing streak with a 6-5 victory over Peter Wright, who remains without a win in this year’s competition.

Defending champion Michael van Gerwen, winner of three of the first five nights, suffered a second successive quarter-final loss as he was beaten 6-2 by Cross, and night five winner Nathan Aspinall lost 6-3 to Littler.

Humphries moves up to second in the table on 12 points, three behind Van Gerwen, with Littler and Cross a further point back and Smith just outside the play-off spots on 10 points.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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