Littler suffers second Shock Defeat in two days

Luke Littler suffered a surprise defeat for the second time in the space of two days at the Players Championship 14 on Wednesday.

A struggling Littler, who averaged 89.4, was defeated 6-3 by world number 92 James Hurrell in his second competition since not being included in England's World Cup of Darts team.

The 17-year-old was also knocked out of the Players Championship 13 in the first round on Tuesday by world number 116 Robert Grundy.

England's Grundy, 47, who only secured his Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) tour card in January after a 15-year absence from the sport, defeated Littler 6-5.

Before his second shock defeat, Littler had returned to winning ways earlier on Wednesday with a hard-fought 6-5 victory over Ricky Evans in the first round of the Players Championship 14.

Luke Humphries, who beat Littler in the World Championship final in January, and 2023 world champion Michael Smith were picked ahead of the teenager for the World Cup with only two spots available on the England team.

In June, Littler defeated England's Rob Cross in the final of the Poland Darts Masters to claim his second World Series of Darts title of the year.

This came after the Warrington teenager won the 2024 Premier League Darts title in May, following a victory over Humphries to avenge his World Championship final defeat.