It was a huge contrast in fortunes this week for recent World Championship semi-finalist, Stephen Bunting.
Over the four day Super Series Event in Milton Keynes this week, The Bullet sensationally reached a semi-final but crashed into the first hurdle on the other three occasions.
Focussing on the positives – Bunting began Players Championship 15 on Wednesday tentatively, getting over the line in a last leg decider against Dutchman, Ryan De Vreede.
Faced with a tricky second round tie against Michael Smith, Bunting completely a comprehensive 6-2 victory over fellow St Helens man.
The Bullet then followed that up with a solid 6-4 win over Aussie, Damon Heta before defeating former two time World Champion, Adrian Lewis 6-2 in the quarter-final.
Averaging consistently in the mid 90s all afternoon, Bunting went up against another Ryan, this time Searle aiming to reach another pro-tour final. Unfortunately he was left to rue pivotal missed doubles and the man nicknamed ‘Heavy Metal’ took full advantage, taking the match 7-4.
The Scouser can consider himself unlucky to lose his first game of the week against Mickey Mansell but it was a case of too many missed doubles. With the scores tied at 5-5 and Bunting sat on six to claim victory, the Northern Irishman pinged in a 161 checkout to advance.
On day two, Bunting ran into a brilliant Dirk van Duijvenbode. Despite averaging a highly impressive 98, it wasn’t enough to grab victory over the big Dutchman who was magnificent. Yet again, it was agony for Bunts as he lost in a last leg decider.
The Bullet will be enormously disappointed with his last outing of the week, defeated in his opening match by young gun, Bradley Brooks 6-4.
All in all, a mixed bag for the Bunting. Obviously delighted with a deep run on day three and gaining a vital £3000 towards qualification for the World Matchplay but will be bitterly disappointed to not get past the first game on the other events.
However, The Bullet will take heart from the fact he scored very well, averaging in the 90s for each of his matches throughout the series.