Luke Littler hit a nine-dart finish en route to claiming glory on his European Tour debut, defeating Rob Cross 8-7 in the final of the Blåkläder Belgian Darts Open in Wieze on Sunday.

Teenage global sensation Littler hit his third nine-darter of the year to go 6-5 up on Cross, before recovering from 7-6 down to get the better of his fellow Premier League star.

Littler, who won Players Championship One on his ProTour debut in February, scoops the £30,000 top prize which sees him move into a provisional qualification place for July’s Betfred World Matchplay.

“I’m just glad to get over the line,” reflected Littler. “I lost the two legs after I hit the nine so I’m relieved to get the win.

“It’s always good to be involved in a good game; me and Rob have battles and we bring the best out of each other.

“I’m really happy to hit a nine-darter, I prefer 144 to 141 to finish a nine because when the first treble 20 goes in I’m confident of following it with another.

“I know the spotlight is on me because I’ve done so well but I just play my darts and get on with it. I just do what I do.”

Littler’s day began with a 6-3 win over Damon Heta, reversing the outcome of last Sunday’s UK Open quarter-final, before defeating Jermaine Wattimena and Ricardo Pietreczko in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

A high-quality final saw Cross break throw first to open up an early 2-1 lead, before Littler broke back to make it 3-3.

With Cross in the ascendancy at 5-4 up, Littler held throw to restore parity before landing perfection in the following leg.

Cross landed a 121 checkout to break throw and move within a leg of victory at 7-6, only for Littler to fire back with legs of 15 and 14 darts to lift his first silverware on the continent.

Finals Day saw Cross claim wins over Danny Noppert, Ryan Searle and Gerwyn Price to reach his first European Tour final since his victory in Sindelfingen last May.

“I wanted a big display and I got a big display,” said Cross, who averaged 108 in the final.

“I missed a few chances but I can’t be bitter about them.

“Luke is special, he has such a bright future in front of him; the nine was amazing.

“I’ve loved playing in front of this crowd, I’ve really enjoyed my weekend here.”

The PDC European Tour season will continues with the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich later this month, as 48 players compete across three days of action from March 30-April 1.

The tournament will be broadcast live on Viaplay, DAZN and PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and through bookmakers’ websites worldwide.

Luke Littler 8-7 Rob Cross


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