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Luke seals first Premier League victory

LUKE Humphries produced a trio of brilliant displays to clinch his first nightly victory in the BetMGM Premier League with Night Six success in Brighton.

Despite boasting a tournament average of almost 101, Humphries began the evening in sixth place, but he catapulted himself up to second in the table with a series of scintillating performances by the seaside.

The World Champion conceded just eight legs on his way to victory at The Brighton Centre, landing threeconsecutive ton-plus averages to secure a five-point haul on the South Coast.

Humphries kicked off Night Six with a resounding 6-2 success against birthday boy Gerwyn Price, reeling offfour consecutive legs to advance with a 105 average.

The world number one then produced the performance of the tournament so far to deny Rob Cross in a sensational semi-final, averaging 113.71 on his way to a 6-3 victory.

Humphries landed a trio of 11-darters to register the highest televised average of his career, defying six 180s from Cross to set up a fascinating showdown against Night One winner Michael Smith.

The pair traded holds to kick off the contest, but Humphries took control with a brutal four-leg burst, following up a monstrous 143 checkout with legs of 11, 14 and 14 darts to race into a 5-1 lead.

Smith replied with back-to-back legs to reduce the arrears, although Humphries wasn’t to be denied, converting a clinical 74 kill on double eight to prevail with a 101 average.

“I think it’s probably the best I’ve played and the best I’ve felt since the World Championship,” reflected Humphries, a runner-up at last weekend’s UK Open.

“The UK Open was a massive boost for me. I know I didn’t win it, but my game was in a good place.

“I played well and I came here today and upped my game even more, which is important for me.

“I think after the World Championship, everyone expected me to win everything, which is not going to happen.

“There are so many great players out there, and winning nights like these are fantastic. I’m really proud of the way I’ve played tonight.

“I just love the game to bits, and to be involved in the Premier League is a privilege.

“I feel like I belong here, and hopefully I’m here for a long time in the future.”

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