Another excellent European Tour run saw Stephen Bunting come within a whisker of reaching the Austrian Darts Open final.

The Bullet is becoming a familiar face on continental last day action and it was Joe Cullen who denied the Liverpudlian a shot at the title on this occasion.

Deservingly now a seed, Bunting began his campaign in Graz on Saturday afternoon and claimed a dramatic last leg shoot-out win over Richard Veenstra.

Not renowned for his angling skills, the current Masters Champion wowed the Austrian crowd with two big fish checkouts en route to pipping the Dutchman in an enthralling contest.

Sunday afternoon also started brightly for Bunting as he overcame two time major winner, Daryl Gurney 6-3 to once again take his place in the evening session.

It looked plain sailing for The Bullet as he raced into a commanding 4-0 lead over the Northern Irishman with some exceptional power scoring.

Superchin did manage to close the gap slightly but the damage had been done as Stephen completed the job, registering a magnificent 104.64 average and 60% on the doubles in the process.

Martin Schindler is a man very much in form after winning his first European Tour title on the last outing in Sindelfingen.

However, Bunting ended the German’s hopes of a second consecutive crown as he was on the right side of a 6-5 thriller in their quarter-final contest.

Once again, the St Helens resident burst out of the blocks to build a strong 4-1 advantage before watching in anguish as Schindler took the next four legs to go within one of victory.

Crucially though, an immediate break of throw and a successful hold took Bunting over the line and into the final four.

Unfortunately, that is where the Austrian story ended as The Bullet was narrowly defeated 7-5 by Joe Cullen to deny him a place in the final.

Despite taking the opening two legs, Bunting was unable to press home his advantage and with the Rockstar taking the next five on the bounce, it proved a hurdle too high to clear.

Speaking after the semi-final, Stephen said: “Naturally disappointed to have lost that one, especially after such a positive start. But fair play to Joe, he fought back strongly and punished me at every opportunity.

“All in all, I am very happy with my second run to a European Tour semi-final this year. I know if I keep putting myself in the mix on the last day, it will eventually come and I can finally bag one of these titles!

“Consistency is something all of us dart players look for and right now, I am pleased that side of my game is there. To win titles and constantly be in the conversation you need to regularly be producing the goods.

“I’m still very confident of adding to my Masters title this year.”

Translate »

Get in touch!

Submit your message below and a member of the Stephen Bunting management team will be in touch soon. All fields required.