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  • Luke Humphries Pipped To The Post By Danny Noppert In Players Championship At Leicester

Luke Humphries pipped to the post by Danny Noppert in Players Championship at Leicester

World champion Luke Humphries lost to Danny Noppert in the final of the eighth Players Championship event with teenage sensation Luke Littler suffering another surprise early exit.

Humphries, the world number one, beat Gian van Veen, Gary Anderson, Monday’s winner of event seven Chris Dobey, Brendan Dolan, Jeffrey de Zwaan and Paul Krohne on the way to the final in Leicester, but suffered an 8-6 defeat to Noppert.

The Dutchman beat Gerwyn Price and Littler’s conqueror Kevin Doets on his way to the final, where his superior finishing on the doubles got him over the line.

“Both were struggling in the final but I am so happy to get over the line,” expressed an elated Noppert. 
“Yesterday my performance was not so good but today I was there at the right moments.
“There were some crazy games today but I am really proud of myself for taking it over the line."

It was his first Players Championship title of the season and continued his 100 per cent record in finals in this competition.

“I am speechless, but I am always fighting in finals,” said Noppert.
“Last week I played Luke and he beat me really hard. Today I got revenge and it is a really good feeling.
"Two years ago I was a UK Open winner and this year I am really going for it, I hope I can take another big title.”

Littler, who has surged to the top of the Premier League table after back-to-back weekly wins, suffered a second successive early exit, going out in the third round to Doets after missing a double 13 on match dart.

He went out in the fourth round to Ross Smith on Monday, having previously won his debut event back in February.

Michael van Gerwen’s struggles continued as he went out in the last 32 to Andrew Gilding, though this is a floor tournament which rarely brings out the best of the world’s top players.

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