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Stephen Bunting Wins 2012 Winmau World darts Masters

 
Stephen Bunting claimed victory in the 2012 Winamu World Masters on Sunday night, early round victories over Rick Hofstra (3-2) and Benito van de Pas (3-2) set up a quarter final meeting with Jim Williams...
 
Quarter Final

A clinical performance from Stephen Bunting has seen him reach his first ever major semi-final at the Winmau World Masters in Hull. Stephen started off with a 180 and never looked back as he claimed a 3-1 victory over Jim Williams from Wales. Stephen took the first set 2-0 with some heavy scoring and clinical finishing, and although Williams was able to hold throw in the second set to level the match at 1-1, Bunting never really looked like losing and powered on to take the next 2 sets and the match by a scoreline of 3 sets to 1.

Stephen averaged 94.37 and looks to be improving as each round goes on. He attributed his success to his preparation which included staying in an apartment with his sponsor, where he has been able to practice in peace and prepare himself thoroughly for the event.

"My sponsor has really looked after me this week,” said Stephen. "He has even been cooking for me.”
 
Semi-Final

Stephen Bunting reached his maiden major final after defeating Wesley Harms 5-3 in a thrilling encounter. Stephen took the early advantage with a break of throw to take the first set 2-0. The next 3 sets all went with throw and Stephen led 3-1 going into the break.

Confusions ensues at the break as the referee calls game on in the fifth set when the players should be going off. Harms seems unsettled and angry, whilst Bunting remains calm and heads off to the practice room.

Harms vents his anger on the board early on in the second session and narrows the gap to 2-3, but Stephen fights back holding throw to claim the ext set and restore his 2 set advantage.

A solid hold from Wesley sees him narrow the gap once more, but Stephen remains level headed to take the 8th set and claim a 5-3 victory

"I’m a bit lost for words,” said Stephen after the match. "It doesn’t bother me who I face in the final as they are both great players.”
 
The Final

Stephen Bunting tonight claimed his maiden major title after coming through a tough field to claim the Winmau World Masters at City Hall, Hull. Bunting had previously overcome Rick Hofstra, Benito Van De Pas, Jim Williams and Wesley Harms before taking to the stage for the final against Tony O’Shea, who had previously lost in 4 major finals.

Bunting came out of the blocks well and had already hit 16 140s when the players went in level at 2 sets all at the first break. The next 2 sets were also shared and went with throw, Stephen taking a 3-2 lead before Tony pulled level once more at 3-3.

After Stephen had again held his throw in the seventh set, the eight became crucial, if O’Shea could hold his throw it would be 4-4 at the second break. He led the set 1-0 and had darts against the throw to claim a 2-0 set win, but he was unable to close the set out and after being let off Stephen broke Tony’s throw in the deciding leg, claiming a 5-3 lead at the break

The next set also went with throw, Stephen claiming it to take a 6-3 lead, he was on the cusp of a great victory. O’Shea refused to give in however and used the advantage of throw in the tenth set to close the gap once more.

Throwing first and leading 6-4, Stephen was able to hold his nerve and closed out the set and the match with a superb 146 checkout, his highest of the tournament

"It’s fantastic to win a competition like this in front of a crowd and on the TV,” said Stephen. "We all play each other week in week out on the circuit but this is something really special.”

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