After six long weeks without PDC action, Stephen was itching to get on the oche.
Unfortunately, his luggage didn’t seem to feel the same way as The Bullet landed in Germany but his suitcase had decided not to join him.
One quick trip to a Hildesheim retail outlet later and some special dispensation allowing the Liverpudlian to dress similarly to Freddy Krueger, it was down to business.
Day one and things began well against Owen Bates as Stephen registered a very Bunting-esque 95 average in a 6-4 win. However, that joy was short-lived as Martin Lukeman claimed a last leg decider in game two.
Any disappointment over an early exit was washed away emphatically 24 hours later as the former Lakeside World Champion embarked on a terrific run to the semi-final.
Wins over Mario Vandenbogaerde, Robert Grundy and Daryl Gurney all with mid-high 90 averages claimed the board.
Bunting then edged Ryan Meikle before overcoming Richard Veenstra to grab a spot in the semis. And but for walking into a rampant Gerwyn Price looking for back to back titles, it could have very well been the Englishmans day. Eventually The Iceman comfortably took the contest 7-2 en route to triumph for the second consecutive day.
Normally when it comes to the double header of Euro qualifiers, Bunting bags one of the two. So imagine his delight to secure trips to both Jena and Budapest.
Qualification for the German Darts Open was expertly negotiated with wins over Danny van Trijp and a second Dutchman in Geert Nentjes.
Then Bunting made it a clean sweep in far more easier fashion by easing past Adam Warner and then a dominating victory over a very under-par Keegan Brown to gain a spot at the Hungarian Darts Trophy.
Pleased with his achievements in Hildesheim, Stephen said: “I’m so happy to see the hard work I’ve put in over the break pay off.
“You’re always naturally a little apprehensive after a big gap away from competitive darts but I’ll take the semi-final and two Euro Tours all day long.
“Things begin to get really hectic now so I’ll get a couple of solid days practice in before Barnsley at the weekend.”