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Luke plays it cool on Premier debut

The Newbury darts player delivered with another big performance on stage

Liam Headd

Liam Headd

liam.headd@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886629

Luke plays it cool on Premier debut

Pic: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

NEWBURY darts star Luke Humphries says the last week has given his confidence a real boost.

The 24-year-old made his Premier League debut in Exeter last Thursday, drawing 6-6 with world number six Gerwyn Price.

Humphries then made it to the fourth round of the UK Open, beating Vincent van der Voort 6-1 before losing 10-8 to Dave Chisnall.

There are plenty of positives to take on board and the former Trinity School pupil is keen to improve in order to have more success on the oche.

“As a whole it has given me the confidence that I have needed,” he said. “Confidence is the key in darts because you can be the most talented in the sport, but if you’re not confident then you might not play great.

“It has made me want to practice more than I already do because it has given me the taste of what it can be like.

“I want to do this full-time and sometimes you question this sport – do I love it as much as I think? Yes, absolutely.

“Those sort of nights make you realise how much you love it and it’s given me plenty of confidence.”

Humphries played in front of more than 5,000 spectators in Exeter during week four of the Premier League after being confirmed as one of ‘nine contenders’ to replace the injured Gary Anderson.

He said: “It was what I was looking forward to most and I enjoyed it.

“It was a great experience for me and something I didn’t think I would do so early  in my career.

“What they did was a great idea because all those who have been in the Premier League have put in great performances.

“The crowd were so loud and it was probably one of the best I have ever experienced in darts.”

And although Cool Hand Luke found himself on the back foot against Price, he fought his way back to earn a deserved draw.

He said: “When I get on that stage I seem to find an extra gear and it’s something I wish I could do in the floor tournaments more.

“As soon as I hit the 161, I kicked on and I think that it was a fair result because we both played well.”

After the Premier League, Humphries travelled to Minehead for the UK Open and after a scintillating performance against van der Voort, he fell short against Chisnall.

“I had nine 180s in the first 14 legs, which was a   compliment to myself and shows  how well I can play and score.

“When you’re 8-5 up against anyone, you expect to close out the game, but full credit to Dave because he came back.”

Humphries returns to the development tour this weekend – something he has had double success in – before travelling to Germany on the European Tour.

And the 24-year-old’s aim is to become more consistent to better his ranking of 55 in the world.

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