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UK Open Darts 2024 | Day Two Preview and Order of Play

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UK Open Darts 2024 | Day Three Preview and Order of Play

Luke Littler storms into UK Open Quarter-Finals as Lukeman ousts Anderson

Jamie Shaw in UK Open 03 Mar 2024
Littler powers past Chisnall (Photo by Kieran Cleeves/PDC)

Luke Littler continued his charge at the UK Open to book his place in the quarter-finals on Saturday, as Martin Lukeman produced an inspired display to defeat Gary Anderson.

Day Two of the £600,000 event saw the Last 32 and Last 16 ties take place across a bumper double session in Minehead, with Littler remaining in contention for glory.

The World Championship finalist saw off Martin Schindler and Dave Chisnall with successive ton-plus averages, following on from Friday’s win over James Wade.

Having recovered from 5-3 down to see off a spirited Schindler 10-8, Littler then ran out a resounding 10-5 winner against Chisnall, averaging 103 and claiming six of the last seven legs.

“It would be unbelievable to win this title,” admitted Littler, one of three Premier League players left in the tournament.

“I’m not thinking that far ahead though. I’m just taking it game by game.

“I struggled to get over the line against Martin, but I think I played better tonight against Dave, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow now.”

Lukeman was one of Saturday’s stand-out performers, dumping out former champions Danny Noppert and Gary Anderson in impressive fashion.

Lukeman recovered from 9-7 down to deny 2022 winner Noppert in the last 32, before delivering a finishing masterclass to stun 2018 champion Anderson – who averaged 102 in defeat.

Lukeman, a World Grand Prix quarter-finalist in 2022. produced finishes of 81, 82, 84, 92, 107 and 140, pinning 10 of his 13 attempts at double to clinch one of the biggest wins of his career.

Meanwhile, 2021 runner-up Luke Humphries dropped just seven legs in his two matches on Saturday, dispatching Benjamin Drue Reus and Mervyn King to maintain his bid for a fourth consecutive televised ranking title.

The world number one averaged 101 in a thumping 10-3 win over Danish debutant Reus in the Last 32 and continued his charge with another emphatic victory over 2014 semi-finalist King in the evening session.

“It’s going to take a big performance to beat me,” insisted Humphries, who has won his last 22 televised ranking matches in a record dating back to October.

“Mervyn is a legend and someone I look up to, but maybe I did switch off and I shouldn’t have given him that bit of hope.

“Sometimes in the middle of games I just go missing – you can’t be perfect all the time but if I can change that, I believe I can carry on this winning streak.”

There will be a new name on the UK Open trophy in 2024 after Masters champion Stephen Bunting ended the hopes of 2017 winner Peter Wright in a dramatic Last 16 showdown.

Wright rallied from 9-6 adrift to force a decider, only for Bunting to seal the deal with a 13-dart hold, having also accounted for Kevin Doets in a last-leg shootout earlier in the day.

Elsewhere, 2019 runner-up Rob Cross advanced to his fifth UK Open quarter-final in seven years after recording a brace of 10-4 wins over Josh Rock and Keane Barry on Stage Two.

Cross produced the performance of the tournament to dispatch Rock with a 105 average, and he later punished a tentative start from 2022 semi-finalist Barry to continue his charge.

Australian number one Damon Heta is another high-profile name still in the hunt for the £110,000 top prize following dramatic comeback wins over Nathan Aspinall and Gian van Veen.

Heta recovered from 8-4 down to sink 2019 winner Aspinall in a last-leg thriller, while he overturned a 7-3 deficit against Van Veen in the last 16, winning seven of the last eight legs to triumph.

Dimitri Van den Bergh secured his spot in the quarter-finals for a second straight year, courtesy of hard-fought wins over Vincent van der Voort and Jonny Clayton.

Van den Bergh won five of the last six legs to topple 2007 runner-up Van der Voort 10-6, before pinning 50% of his attempts at double to defeat Wales’ World Cup champion Clayton.

A resurgent Ricky Evans was the first player to book his place in the Last Eight, after celebrating wins over Mike De Decker and Luke Woodhouse.

Evans averaged 97 to sweep aside De Decker in the Last 32, before defying a mid-game rally from Woodhouse to progress to his second televised ranking quarter-final.

Saturday’s afternoon session saw a host of big names exit in Minehead, with reigning champion Andrew Gilding condemned to an emphatic 10-1 rout by Wright on Stage Two.

World number three Michael Smith and former winners Aspinall and Noppert also crashed out in the Last 32 after suffering deciding-leg heartbreak against Woodhouse, Heta and Lukeman respectively.

UK Open 2024 Day Two Results

Saturday March 2

Afternoon Session

Fifth Round

Main Stage
Gary Anderson 10-5 Chris Dobey
Luke Littler 10-8 Martin Schindler
Damon Heta 10-8 Nathan Aspinall
Benjamin Reus 3-10 Luke Humphries

Stage Two
Jonny Clayton 8-10 Ross Smith
Rob Cross 10-4 Josh Rock
Stephen Bunting 10-9 Kevin Doets
Peter Wright 10-1 Andrew Gilding

Stage Three
Ricky Evans 10-5 Mike De Decker
Michael Smith 9-10 Luke Woodhouse
Dave Chisnall 10-6 Mensur Suljovic
Vincent van der Voort 6-10 Dimitri Van den Bergh

Stage Four
Graham Usher 7-10 Gian van Veen
Martin Lukeman 10-9 Danny Noppert
Keane Barry 10-3 Ryan Meikle
Krzysztof Ratajski 9-10 Mervyn King

Evening Session

Last 16

Main Stage
Jonny Clayton 7-10 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Luke Littler 10-5 Dave Chisnall
Mervyn King 4-10 Luke Humphries
Peter Wright 9-10 Stephen Bunting

Stage Two
Ricky Evans 10-6 Luke Woodhouse
Martin Lukeman 10-5 Gary Anderson
Damon Heta 10-8 Gian van Veen
Rob Cross 10-4 Keane Barry

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