Consistency is often a word used to describe Stephen Bunting’s darting prowess and back to back board finals in the latest pair of Pro Tours perfectly illustrated that fact.

Leicester was the destination as The Bullet kicked things off in style with an emphatic 6-0 win over Josh Richardson.

The second round task proved slightly trickier with the reigning Master’s Champion needing to dig a little deeper to get the better of Pascal Rupprecht.

Eventually, a mid 90s average and almost half his attempts at the outer ring finding their target was enough for Bunting to defeat the young German 6-3.

But that proved to be where the road ended for Stephen as close friend, Ross Smith nicked the deciding leg of their contest to halt his pals progress.

Turning 39-years old and hoping for the ideal birthday present, day two’s gift was another run to the board final.

Without finding top gear, the Liverpudlian edged Jitse Van der Wal 6-4 averaging just north of 90 before stepping it up a notch in round two, picking off Alan Soutar courtesy of the same scoreline.

And in the next game, things were looking good for a board win. Leading Chris Dobey 5-3 and chucking superbly, Bunting watched in despair as the Geordie rallied back to pinch his pocket despite boasting a colossal 106.39 average.

With both players ending a fantastic match with applaudable stats, it was the Newcastle man’s slightly superior doubling check-out which proved to be the significant difference.

After the event, the birthday boy said: “Upon reflection, two last 32s is a satisfying return for how I played. On a Pro Tour, my first aim is to win my board so a little disappointed not to go any further.

“Then to lose both those matches in a last leg shoot-out is even more frustrating but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

“All in all, over the two days felt I played some good stuff. Not always my A-game but certainly enough to take plenty of positives away from Leicester.”

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