THAT must have felt good for Luke ‘The Nuke’ Littler.

And the smile as he left the stage at the Oktoberhallen in Wieze said it did.

The 17-year-old former Runcorn resident defeated Australian number one Damon Heta 6-3 to reach tonight’s quarter-finals of the Belgian Darts Open on his European Tour debut.

For Littler, it was some revenge for being knocked out of the UK Open in Minehead by Heta last weekend in one of the greatest TV games in memory.

The averages never got close to what both men served up seven days ago but ‘The Nuke’ dropped a bomb in the seventh leg.

He broke Heta for the second time, doing so in 11 darts for a 4-3 lead and then held his own throw in the next leg to take charge.

The Australian did have a shot at breaking Littler in the eighth but two missed doubles cost him dearly.

‘The Nuke’ ended the game in some style with a 137 finish, established with treble 19 and then two successful arrows at double tops.

Littler and Heta broke each other’s throws in the opening two legs, the Aussie responding to Littler’s opening salvo with an 81 finish to an 11-dart leg.

A big fish 170 finish was on the cards for Littler in the sixth leg but after hitting treble 20 twice he showed his game maturity when he decided against the bull and nailed the 10 to leave himself double 20 on the next visit knowing that Heta was not on a finish.

Littler will be back in action at 6.30pm tonight when he takes on Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena for a place in the semi-finals against Ricardo Pietreczko or Jonny Clayton.

A first prize of £30,000 and the first European Tour title of the year is up for grabs.