St Helens darts aces await World Championship draw after Minehead disappointment

Stephen Bunting
Stephen Bunting

Stephen 'The Bullet' Bunting ran out of ammunition in the quarter finals of the Ladbrokes Players' Darts Championship at Butlin's, Minehead, yesterday afternoon (Sunday).

The last surviving St Helens representative, who had shown impressive form in previous rounds to KO Belgium's Dimitri den Bergh 6-2 and Portuguese-born Jose De Sousa 6-3, was no match for on-song Gerwen Price.

Weshman Price romped to a 10-3 victory during which he averaged 108.7, landed four 180s, and a 62 per cent doubles success and went on to reach the final where he lost 11-9 to Dutchman Michael van Gerwen.

Bunting himself started well in his showdown with the ex-rugby player, hitting a 180 but missed two darts at doubles and, as a result, Price pounced with a 75 finish to grab the opening leg. From there he claimed a break of throw, hitting a 14 darter on double 10 to increase his lead and the rest was a formality.

St Helens other two players both went out of the competition at an earlier stage. Michael Smith was beaten 10-4 by his Stoke practice partner and close friend,. Ian White, and Dave Chisnall was defeated 6-4 by Mervyn King.

The trio will now be focusing on the 2020 World Darts Championship which will be held at the Alexandra Palace and also keenly awaiting the outcome of the draw.

This will be made live on Sky Sports News at 7.30pm tonight (Monday). Smith, in particular, will be hoping to go one better than the previous year when he lost in the final to Van Gerwen.