The Netherlands was the destination for Stephen this time as he popped across the water to compete in sixth European Tour event of the year, the Dutch Darts Championship.

Unlike Austria last weekend, The Bullet had known about this particular trip to Leeuwarden for a good few weeks.

And there’s no better way to kick things off in any tournament with a whitewash victory.

There was little Adam Smith-Neale could do as Bunting knocked in a superb 99.10 average to ‘bagel’ his opponent.

Onto the Saturday and the Liverpudlian managed to pick the pocket of Joe Cullen, rallying back from 5-4 down to claim the final two legs of an exhilarating encounter.

That meant the final day of action in Holland would feature Stephen with his next obstacle coming in the form of a native. More specifically, the aubergenius.

Only Dirk van Duijvenbode stood between The Bullet and a quarter-final berth. And with a magnificent ton plus average, Stephen claimed a 6-4 victory much to the displeasure to the Dutch audience.

Disappointingly though, that was as good as it got as Aussie number one, Damon Heta took full advantage of a rare below par performance from our man and ran out a comfortable 6-2 winner.

As always, Stephen had some words for his fans, saying: “First of all, I’m delighted to have reached the final session.

“These Euro events are tough and with the short format, it’s vital to get off to a strong start.

“Extremely pleased with how I played over the three days and can take huge positives from my three wins.

“Naturally, pretty gutted I didn’t get going against Damon [Heta] but overall, I have no complaints with the rest of the weekend.

“I’ll continue to build on this and move forward.”

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