Perhaps it wasn’t dreamland in Deutschland for Stephen Bunting this week but if you are giving points for consistency, then the friendly scouser usually scores pretty high.
The former Lakeside World Champion may not always get the results desired but his averages are very rarely much below the ninety mark. In fact, they are more often mid 90s and above.
Day one of the double header in Niedernhausen was extremely rewarding for Stephen – narrowly losing out on a spot in the quarter-finals.
The Bullet came firing out of the blocks superbly against George Killington in his opening match, defeating his compatriot 6-3 and registering a 101.43 average in the process.
Bunting then put in another strong performance to see of Dutchman Berry Peer 6-4 before grabbing a nervy last leg decider against talented Scottish teenager, Nathan Girvan.
However, in the last 16 that was all she wrote for Stephen as good friend and former St Helens neighbour Michael Smith put in a ton plus average to run out a 6-4 victor.
A 94.27 tournament average for PC16 though is certainly something worth taking home to England and banking.
Disappointingly though, the second day didn’t prove too fruitful for Bunting and it was a relatively early exit.
After impressively defeating Ian White 6-4 in game one, Stephen struggled to find his best form against the recent WDF World Championship runner-up Thibault Tricole and the Frenchman picked up the 11th and crucial final leg of an exciting contest.
All in all, a satisfying trek for the Liverpudlian who gave us his thoughts.
“Very pleased with how I played on the Tuesday”, said Stephen.
“Michael [Smith] is on-fire recently, winning the last three pro-tour events but I felt I run him close and gave a good account of myself. Have to be happy with the majority of my performances of late as well as the averages.
“If I can continue to play at this standard then I always feel I can go deep in any event – whether it be a players championship or a TV competition.
“I’ve shown in the past couple of years that I have the game to compete against the very best.
“Having Mark [Dean] in my corner has really helped me improve. He is a calming influence and knows how to get the best out of me. Always great to have someone by your side who you know has your back and is there to support you.
“We are confident titles will follow. I’m not that far away.”