Stephen Bunting’s wait for European Tour glory goes on despite a majestic run to the semi-finals of the International Darts Open in Riesa.

With a couple of big names pulling out, the Liverpudlian was bumped up to the seeded positions and began his campaign on Saturday afternoon with a destructive display over home nation qualifier, Michael Unterbuchner.

After defeating Luke Woodhouse the previous day, the German was looking to claim a further professional scalp. However, the opening leg of the contest was as good as it got for the Munich man as Bunting reeled off six on the bounce courtesy of some heavy scoring and clinical finishing in yet another ton plus display on European soil.

In contrast, the last 16 job at hand looked far more testing as The Bullet faced off against reigning World Champ, Luke Humphries.

Strangely, in what promised to be an absolute belter, neither player managed to find top gear with Bunting running out a 6-4 victor.

However, it’s always a huge positive when you grab a win over the world’s highest ranked player and the Masters Champ will be elated with his rally back from 4-2 down to overcome Cool Hand.

Sunday night’s quarter-final was an even tenser affair with Bunting and Richie Edhouse taking their exhilarating contest right down to the wire.

With the early exchanges going the way of the Merseysider, the game swung in both directions before culminating in a last leg shoot-out. Fortunately, Bunting managed to wrestle the throw off Edhouse and advance to the last four.

And it was equally as tight as the scouser took on Gerwyn Price for a place in the final. On this occasion though, Bunting was unable to ever get his nose in front despite checking out a 164 finish to make it level at 4 – 4 the Welshman held firm to earn a 7-5 victory.

After the tournament in Riesa, Stephen reflected upon his exploits saying: “This time, I am much happier with the run than my performances.

“I felt I played some good stuff but despite the wins, didn’t hit the levels I know I’m capable of.

“But this is a results business and I was delighted to go all the way to the last session of the weekend and make it to the semis.

“Naturally, it would be have been great to reach the final and even win it but I have to be satisfied on the whole. I came back well against Humphries for the win and pushed Price all the way so plenty of positives to take home with me.”

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