Humphries seals fourth European Tour title of 2022 with thrilling victory over Rodriguez at European Darts Matchplay

Luke Humphries has continued his European Tour dominance with a fourth title of the season and a fifth overall in 2022 adding the European Darts Matchplay to the European Darts Grand Prix, Czech Darts Open and German Darts Grand Prix.

Humphries faced Rowby-John Rodriguez and survived a match dart in a pulsating classic which saw 'Cool Hand Luke' come from 4-0 down to win 8-7 and deny 'Little John' a maiden PDC title and it is a third consecutive for the Newbury ace after missing Zwolle last time out.

Both exchanged 180’s to begin the tie but Rodriguez did it to leave 36 getting three darts to seal a hold. Humphries missed the bull for a 123 checkout though and RJR returned for double four.

But it was a ton plus checkout from Rodriguez as he pinned a 124 checkout and followed it up with double 16 to make it 3-0. A 130 to leave 131 saw Rodriguez again first to a finish on Humphries’ throw and he had six darts for 4-0. He teed up double 20 with a 91.

Humphries applied the pressure but Rodriguez went half way to the finishing line. A 180 and 92 to leave 32 saw Humphries respond to make it 4-1.

A fourth 180 from Humphries and a 156 checkout saw Humphries hold and make it 4-2. A maximum from Rodriguez saw him on 100 to hold but he couldn’t produce and Humphries broke again to make it 4-3.

A fifth 180 from Humphries and 76 checkout for an 11-darter saw ‘Cool Hand Luke’ make it 4-4. A 140 to leave double 20 saw Rodriguez stop the rot of sorts on double 10 at 5-4 up.

He pounced all over a poor start to the leg from Humphries and smashed in a 158 checkout to show incredible resilience and go 6-4 up throwing to go one away.

He missed double nine for an 85 checkout to go one away and Humphries picked his pocket for a 112 checkout to make it 6-5 and he was throwing for parity which he claimed for 6-6.

Rodriguez was playing up to the crowd again at such a pivotal time as he smashed in a 180 to begin his throw. He hit a 171 to leave 120 after nine after a poor visit and missed 60 from there but a 79 was missed to lead from Humphries.

Three more darts went begging again for Rodriguez only for Humphries to continue to miss and Rodriguez hit double five to make it 7-6.

Humphries sent it all the way with a 148 checkout to hold. He stole a march on his throw and was down to 115 but Humphries piled in a 180 to leave double 15.

Rodriguez was in a mess trying to finish but Humphries went inside and Rodriguez had a match dart at double 20 go begging which allowed Humphries to hit double four.

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