Darts: Buntings great escape

Stephen Bunting
Stephen Bunting

Stephen Bunting got out of jail to reach the second stage of the £400,000 Grand Prix in Dublin on Sunday night.

The St Helens ace looked to be heading for the exit against defending champion Robert Thornton of Scotland in the third and final set, but at a crucially stage recouped a deficit of more than 300 points to claim an astonishing victory.

He now plays Belgium's Kim Huybrechts - who also stared defeat in the face before reaching Tuesday's second round.

Bunting,a semi-finalist two years ago, said: “It was such a difficult game for me coming into the tournament.

“Robert's had not been playing too well lately but normally produces his best for here so it's good to get over the line.

“In the last couple of months my form has been coming back and I'm hitting my doubles and I can look forward to the next game.

“I've got to raise my game but I'll keep doing what I do and hopefully it's good enough on the day.”

Bunting's stablemates, feloow Sintelliners Michael Smith and Dave Chisnall, will both be in action tonight (Monday)

No. 8 seed Smith faces Scotland-based Alan Norris, while Chizzy takes on scouser Robbie Green.