Michael Smith silences critics in Cardiff to win the Premier League Darts opener

This year’s Premier League Darts kicked off with Michael Smith quieting the Cardiff crowd by defeating Michael van Gerwen, Luke Littler, and Gerwyn Price; watch the league live on Sky Sports over the following 17 Thursday nights.


On the first night of Premier League Darts, former world champion Michael Smith quells the critics by defeating young phenom Luke Littler and Gerwyn Prince.


To complete an amazing performance in the Welsh capital and secure maximum points, the St Helens star denied 17-year-old Littler, home favorite Price, seven-time Premier League winner Michael van Gerwen, and a rowdy Cardiff crowd.

Smith denied Littler a trip to the final by winning another close match, 6-5, after Smith had started the evening by defeating the defending champion Van Gerwen in a last-leg thriller. Smith crushed Price, the runner-up in 2023, to cap off an incredible victory.


In the third quarter-final of the evening, Smith had overcome a subpar deciding leg from Van Gerwen and then overcome six 180s and a 105 average from Littler to set up a match against Price.


The Welshman, who finished second in the Premier League the previous year, took the lead in the championship match with a smooth 80-stroke finish on top, but Smith quickly answered with a three-leg surge that put the match in control at 3-1.

Smith kept pushing himself to the limit with back-to-back 120 and 107 combinations, putting himself in position to succeed. He finished off a commanding performance with a 13-darter.



In the final leg of his Premier League Darts match against Smith, Michael van Gerwen breaks down.

Smith, who placed second in the league phase of the previous year, admitted, “I actually thought in the semi-final Luke Littler was Welsh.” “It doesn’t matter where it is; it will happen every week.


“Everyone has developed feelings for him. Luke is the biggest name in darts and has even more popularity than Phil Taylor, who has 16 world titles to his name.”


“I’m going to ride the wave,” he said. Sponsors continue to come in, people continue to follow, and the prize money for us guys keeps rising.


“There weren’t any interviews when I arrived this afternoon. “Can you do this one, can you do that one?” was the first thing Luke Littler said as he entered.


“Last year, I was there. This time, I was able to take a vacation from the board and relax, and it was successful.”


A few rowdy people in the crowd started whistling in an unsportsmanlike manner, which Smith had to deal with.


Smith declared: “With the exception of one or two people, I liked the crowd. Since there were only two or three people in the crowd, I won’t claim that it was filthy because the remaining three or four thousand people were incredible.


Fortunately, it did not deter me; this was to be expected. Given that you’re playing Gezzy here, you can anticipate some stick and some boos.


“In any sport, whistling isn’t the best, yet it happens nonetheless. How can it be put an end to? It occurs, and the athlete must move on with their work.


“A message to myself is to be at the top of the league after the first week. It pleases me to win, and there’s.

Price declared: “Everyone will experience weekly whistleblowing.” Welcome to the club, that’s just a part of the game, and I’ve been playing it for the past five years. It is unstoppable.


“Over the past few years, I’ve experienced difficult circumstances. Although I wish every event was held in Wales, the support I’ve received over the past 18 months, particularly in Germany, has been excellent. The next week, I’m excited to see Scotland as well


On his Premier League debut, Littler turned in two career-best averages. He defeated Luke Humphries 6-2 in the quarterfinals to exact revenge for his World Championship loss, and in the process, he became the first player to win a Premier League match on his debut in ten years. Humphries’ rhythm was disrupted by the crowd’s incessant whistling.


The global juvenile champion performed admirably in a captivating semifinal match against Smith, overcoming a 4-2 deficit with darts of 12, 14, and 13 before falling short in a nail-biting finish.



Later, Humphries vented his rage at the crowd on social media, writing, “So sorry tonight guys. Was so excited to perform in the magnificent city of Cardiff. The whistling gutted me, but I know I need to practice more to improve! Luke Littler, congratulations on a great first game! For the remainder of the competition, I’ll put in a lot of effort.


Price lost to Rob Cross and Nathan Aspinall, but he still managed to pick up three points despite not being able to win consecutive games in Cardiff.


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