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Nerveless 16-year-old Luke Littler books place in World Championship final

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Nerveless 16-year-old Luke Littler books place in World Championship final

Teenage star Luke Littler is one win away from completing his sensational World Championship dream as he cruised into the final.

The 16-year-old has set the Alexandra Palace alight over the last fortnight and is the youngest-ever player to reach the decider of the premier darts tournament.

He is now on the cusp of producing one of the greatest sporting stories of all time, which would rival Emma Raducanu’s US Open win in 2021.

Littler has already proved he is the real deal but produced his biggest statement yet as he downed eighth seed Rob Cross 6-2 in stunning fashion.

He bombarded the treble-20 16 times, produced three 130-plus checkouts and averaged 106.05 in a nerveless performance.

‘The Nuke’ is trying to emulate 2018 champion Cross by lifting the Sid Waddell Trophy on debut and few would bet against him as his juggernaut looks impossible to stop.

Whatever happens in Wednesday’s final he is the story of the tournament.

He has earned celebrity status and his exploits have transcended the world of darts, already appealing to a younger generation of fans, with broadcaster Sky Sports reporting they had an 18.5 per cent share of all under-35 viewing in the UK for his New Year’s Day quarter-final win over Brendan Dolan.

He only qualified for the tournament by winning the World Youth Championship in November and his fairytale run has put the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) under pressure to hand him a place in the forthcoming Premier League.

There is more immediate work to do, though, as his attention turns to Wednesday’s showpiece.

If he performs like this he will be a heavy favourite as he outplayed Cross, who was by no means under-performing.

When Cross took the opening set on throw, it saw Littler trailing for the first time in the tournament.

The former electrician was a livewire at the oche, peppering the trebles, and put the youngster under pressure, having darts to take a two-set lead.

But Littler showed he can perform when he needs to as he took out a vital 74 to level up and then produced a majestic 142 checkout to go 2-1 in front.

He took out a mammoth 149 on his way to a 3-1 lead and then got himself into a superb position to extend that even further but missed a dart at double top.

Cross took the same score out to make it 3-2 instead of 4-1, but Littler was not perturbed, showing composure and maturity to win the next two sets and move one away from the finish line.

Littler, 19 days from his 17th birthday, showed nerves of steel to close it out in style as his dream run continues.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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