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Dutch Darts Masters: Michael van Gerwen beats Luke Littler 8-6 in final

Three-time world champion Michael van Gerwen beat teenager Luke Littler 8-6 to win the Dutch Darts Masters.

Littler, 17, beat Van Gerwen to win his first PDC senior title at the Bahrain Masters last week but was unable to make it back-to-back titles.

Both players exchanged early breaks before a run of holds meant the game was level at 6-6 in a best-of-15 tie.

Van Gerwen then held, before taking out 85 to win his home World Series event for the first time.

Littler outscored Van Gerwen to average 106.71 compared to 100.59, but the Dutchman's checkout percentage of 66.7 left his opponent with very few opportunities.

"This is what people like to watch," Van Gerwen told ITV.

"Luke Littler will have a bright future ahead of him, we all know that. His scoring power is immense. He doesn't care about anything and he does his own thing.

"I needed my best performance. To win this trophy and win against Luke Littler in front of the home crowd is amazing."

Littler said: "It went leg by leg, hold by hold. At the end when I hit a 180, he came back with one.

"Throughout the game, it was unbelievable. I put him under pressure or tried to - he just wouldn't miss!

"The crowd have been amazing, they want Michael to win and I get that."

Van Gerwen delivers on Bahrain promise

Van Gerwen overcame a scare against compatriot Raymond van Barneveld in the quarter-finals, recovering a 5-2 deficit to win 6-5.

He also went behind against Gian van Veen in the semis but won 7-4 to set up the encounter against Littler.

After losing 8-5 to Littler last week in Bahrain, the 34-year-old said "I will get him" - and he did at the first time of asking.

For Littler, who has now won £230,000 in prize money, this was further evidence that he is here to stay after he rose to prominence with his run to the PDC World Championship final on debut earlier in January.

The then-16-year-old lost to Luke Humphries in the showpiece, but beat the world number one 6-5 in the quarter-finals in Den Bosch.

Littler then beat Gerwyn Price for the second successive week to set up a repeat of the Bahrain final.

What's next for Littler?

Littler returns to action on Thursday as he makes his Premier League Darts debut in Cardiff, with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app from 19:00 GMT.

He will again face Humphries in the quarter-finals, with Cardiff the first of 16 events in the tournament.

Ranking points are awarded on each night, with the top four players overall heading into the play-offs at London's O2 on Thursday, 23 May.

Premier League, Cardiff - quarter-finals

Order of fixtures to be confirmed

Peter Wright v Rob Cross

Gerwyn Price v Nathan Aspinall

Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith

Luke Littler v Luke Humphries