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Luke Humphries bows out of Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts after semi-final defeat

Luke Humphries’ bid to win his first Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts title ended at the semi-final stage in Wolverhampton on Sunday.

Humphries went into his last-four clash against Stockport’s Nathan Aspinall as favourite, but ‘The Asp’ produced a stunning late surge to win 16-12 and set up a showdown with Michael Smith.

It was a disappointing end for Humphries, who produced a brilliant display to beat Dutch star Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals.

Luke Humphries, pic: Taylor Lanning/PDC
Luke Humphries, pic: Taylor Lanning/PDC

But even so, this latest tournament maintained Humphries’ surge up to number five in the Order of Merit and took his prize money over the past two years to £483,000.

After his semi-final defeat, Humphries said: “Of course I’m hugely disappointed to miss so many chances to possibly win.

“I was poor in a lot of legs and I have no reason why. No excuses, I just didn’t play like I know I can.”

Aspinall converted 90 and 124 combinations for successive 12-darters to lead 14-11, before wrapping up a 16-12 victory with a brilliant 121 finish on the bull to cap off a classy display.

Previously, Humphries produced a stunning display to dump out three-time champion van Gerwen.

Humphries, a four-time winner on the European Tour in 2022, averaged 97, despite squandering 32 darts at double, and also posted eight 180s and hit three ton-plus finishes.

Humphries constantly threatened huge three-figure combinations as he opened up a 15-10 lead.

Van Gerwen preserved his slender hopes with a 104 checkout, yet this only proved to be a temporary reprieve.

Humphries said: “I just proved again that I can beat the world’s top players.

“I’ve got good memories of playing Michael. I’ve beaten him in some great games and if you haven’t got that belief, you’ve probably lost before you have got up there.”

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