LUKE ‘The Nuke’ Littler was unable to stop Michael van Gerwen’s Premier League rampage on Night 4 in Newcastle.

The 17-year-old, who edged past Peter Wright in the quarter-finals, missed out on a place in the final when ‘Mighty Mike’ broke his throw by checking out on 90 with successive double 18 arrows in the deciding leg.

Littler, who had trailed 4-2 and 5-3, clawed his way back and somehow levelled matters at 5-5 by breaking van Gerwen, who missed six throws at double.

And ‘The Nuke’ was on a 110 finish in the deciding leg of the final but could only manage 54 which invited the Dutchman to step up and take the honours, clinching a seventh successive match win in the Premier League which he turned into eight as he then beat Nathan Aspinall 6-4 in the final.

It was noticeable how Littler, who spent the early years of his childhood living in Runcorn, had changed his throw action in Newcastle, before reverting to type as he fought back against Van Gerwen.

He added an extra bounce before releasing his arrows in his quarter-final against Wright and in the early stages of the semi-final.

Runcorn and Widnes World: Luke Littler arrives on stage for his semi-final shot against Michael van GerwenLuke Littler arrives on stage for his semi-final shot against Michael van Gerwen (Image: Taylor Lanning)

Snakebite Wright, the world number eight, produced his best Premier League performance of the year so far against Littler, who survived one match dart to level matters at 5-5 against the throw and then was back to his clinical best in the decider to go through.

‘The Nuke’ led 2-0 and 4-2 with his average peaking at 108, producing a big-fish 170 finish in the fifth leg to the delight of the sell-out 8,000 crowd inside the Utilita Arena.

Runcorn and Widnes World: Luke Littler casts out and reels in the big-fish 170 finish against Peter Wright in NewcastleLuke Littler casts out and reels in the big-fish 170 finish against Peter Wright in Newcastle (Image: Taylor Lanning)Runcorn and Widnes World:

He also threw 180 in each of his first four legs, but then 53-year-old Wright got into his stride and won the next three to go into the lead for the first time but the Scotsman couldn’t get over the line.

Littler’s form earlier this week was scratchy, bowing out of Players Championships 3 and 4 in Leicester in the quarter-finals and the first round on Monday and Tuesday respectively, and then suffered an early exit in Wednesday’s European qualifier.

He has had a mixed start to his debut Premier League campaign, though he holds second place on the ladder.

‘The Nuke’ was beaten in the Night 2 final in Berlin by Michael van Gerwen, and reached the semi-finals of the opening round in Cardiff thanks to his quarter-final success against Luke Littler but his progress was halted in the deciding leg of his next match against Michael Smith.

And then on Night 3 in Glasgow, ‘The Nuke’ bowed out in the quarter-finals against Gerwyn Price.

He will be looking to pick up more Premier League points in Exeter next Thursday when he faces St Helens thrower Smith in his first match.

Results for PDC Premier League Darts Night 4, Utilita Arena, Newcastle, live on Sky Sports, Thursday, February 22:

Quarter-final 1: Michael Smith 5-6 Nathan Aspinall

Quarter-final 2: Rob Cross 6-5 Luke Humphries

Quarter-final 3: Peter Wright 5-6 Luke Littler

Quarter-final 4: Gerwyn Price 4-6 Michael van Gerwen

Semi-final 1: Aspinall 6 Cross 4

Semi-final 2: Littler 5-6 Van Gerwen

Final: Aspinall 4 Van Gerwen 6