Recent pro-tour winner, Stephen Bunting saved his best run for the final day of Super Series six in Barnsley.
The Bullet claimed his first PDC title since 2016 in the previous run of events but the best he could manage was a last sixteen this time around.
On day one, Bunting was edged out in a last leg decider by Richie Edhouse despite recording a respectable 93.44 average.
Heading into Tuesday and determined to do better, he was drawn against the inexperienced Jack Main. Without getting into gear, Bunting took the contest 6-4 but couldn’t build on that victory. Against Steve West, he under-performed and sank to a disappointing 6-5 defeat.
However, there were more positives for the St Helen’s man on the final day as he won the board final. It was a much needed strong run for Bunting to keep pace with qualification for October’s World Grand Prix.
In a high quality opening match, he overcame the Belgian Kim Huybrechts 6-4 before following it up with deciding leg win over Rowby-John Rodriquez, averaging in the mid-high nineties in doing so for both games.
Waiting for The Bullet in the board final was the imperious Raymond van Barneveld in what looked a tasty match-up. The pair exchanged opening blows but in a high quality contest it was the Englishman who found that extra bit of quality and saw off Barney 6-3 with an impressive average of a tad under 100.
Unfortunately though, that was as far as Bunting got. In the last sixteen game he was faced with newly crowned World Matchplay Champion, Peter Wright and despite holding the Scot at 3-3, spurned chanced to take the lead before ultimately falling to Snakebite.
In summary, a mixed bag this week in Barnsley for the former Lakeside Champion but it’s another vital £2000 on the order of merit in the race for the upcoming Grand Prix in Leicester.
We caught up with Stephen after the Super Series to get his thoughts on how the event went.
He said: “The first two days didn’t seem to go to plan. Even on the practice board beforehand I was really struggling – just couldn’t put my finger on why. Then going into my first match I felt nervous and never really settled.
“I guess my performance at the World Matchplay took the wind from my sails. Was disappointed with how my match against Gary [Anderson] went despite going into the tournament on a high after winning in the Super Series just before Blackpool. It took me a few days to get over that really.
“On the last day in Barnsley, I went into it feeling I’d under-achieved and that gave me extra impetus to have a good last day.
“All in all, it wasn’t my best series but will take the performances from the final day of it into my next tournament at the end of September in Gibraltar.
“In the meantime, I will get back to putting the hours in on the practice board.”