PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIPS 11&12: REPORT

Stephen Bunting’s latest trip to Germany certainly won’t feature in his career highlight reel with early exits in both Player Championship events.

Despite two strong performances on day one, including a colossal 107.89 average in his opening match against Robbie Knopps, it wasn’t enough to reach the board final after a second round loss.

Busting out of the blocks, Bunting was immediately into top gear with some excellent power scoring to see off the Belgian 6-4.

However, after putting himself in a commanding 4-2 lead over Stephen Burton, the Liverpudlian was unable to press home his advantage and get over the line.

Instead, the Ipswich chucker battled back resiliently and eventually forced a last leg decider which he claimed in eighteen darts.

Frustration for Bunting who recorded the higher average of the two Englishmen but disappointingly couldn’t make it count.

Looking to recover resolutely the following day, Stephen visibly struggled to find his solid recent form and could only muster an uncharacteristic 85.26 average as Keane Barry ran out a 6-2 winner in their first round contest.

After the two days of action in Hildesheim, Bunting reflected, “Gutted to only get the one win, especially where my game has been of late.

“I felt great on Tuesday morning and started really well. But then in my next match, missed doubles cost me dearly and I was punished.

“Not too sure what happened today against Keane [Barry]. I guess you can just chalk it down to one of those things where the darts don’t land your way.

“Consistency is something I have worked on a lot of late and it’s paid off well. But the very best in this game have off days so I won’t dwell upon it too much. It happens.”

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