Bunting upbeat on Ally Pally chances

31 December 2020 05:03:22 GMTPlus11

Stephen Bunting insists there's no reason why "the big lad from Merseyside" can't go on and be crowned world darts champion after coming through another epic at Alexandra Palace.

Bunting, the 2014 BDO world champ, showed nerves of steel to pip Ryan Searle 4-3 in a dramatic fourth-round tie at the PDC World Championship.

The Merseysider lost a 2-0 lead and went down 2-0 in the final set but some stunning finishing from 'The Bullet' at the right moments saw him through to a tie with Krzysztof Ratajski in his second quarter-final in the showpiece tournament.

Bunting thought his luck had run out in a nailbiting final set after Searle won the first two legs.

But the No 26 seed nervelessly took out finishes of 84 and 107 to take the match to a decider which he won in 13 darts.

It's been a disappointing year for Bunting but he is ending it in style.

Elsewhere, Daryl Gurney beat Vincent van der Voort 4-2 and Gary Anderson was a 4-0 victor over Devon Petersen but Bunting's triumph over Searle was his second last-leg shootout – he beat good friend Andy Boulton in a cliffhanger  in round two – while he defied a nine-darter from James Wade to see off The Machine in round three.

"You've seen big seeds fall," Bunting told pdc.tv, the PDC's official website. "Who's not to say the big lad from Merseyside can't go all the way.

"I'm so happy to get through that game. I thought I'd blown it. The new darts are going well and I'll be a very dangerous person."

Bunting is 7/4 to beat 15th seed Ratajski, who is 4/9 shot.

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