Lakeside World Champion Wins First PDC Ranking Title

Stephen Bunting defeated Andrew Gilding in a dramatic deciding leg final of the second Coral UK Open Qualifier to claim his first PDC Pro Tour title in just his second event, at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan, on Saturday.

Winmau World Masters

Bunting 2012 World Master

The £10,000 winners prize for victory on Saturday sees Bunting guarantee his place at the televised finals of the UK Open in March, as well as seeing him rise up inside the top 80 of the PDC Order of Merit after just two events played.

Following defeat to Michael van Gerwen in his PDC debut 24 hours earlier, the Lakeside champion secured wins over Dick van Dijk, Alan Derrett and former major finalist Wayne Jones to reach the last 32 stage.

The Liverpool ace then claimed a brace of 6-4 wins over John Bowles and one of yesterday’s nine-dart hero’s Terry Jenkins, to move into the last eight where he overcame Paul Nicholson by a 6-2 margin.

Bunting repeated the trick in the last four as he beat 1996 World Champion Steve Beaton 6-2 to claim his place in the final where he faced Gilding.

Both players showed nerves in the early stages of their first PDC Pro Tour final but Bunting managed to come away with a 2-1 advantage before Gilding drew level with a 76 finish in the fourth leg.

Gilding edged ahead by taking the fifth leg before Bunting replied by hitting double ten only for his opponent to win the seventh leg on double six for a 4-3 lead.

Bunting raised hopes briefly of a nine-darter, after starting the eighth with scores of 180 and 177. It wasn’t to be, though the leg was on double 16 before converting a brilliant 130 checkout on the bullseye to lead 5-4.

Gilding showed great nerve to hit a 76 finish to force a deciding leg but Bunting produced his best form of the game at its conclusion as he fired in a 180 before winning the £10,000 first prize with a fabulous 161 checkout.

Gilding enjoyed the best day of his darting career to date as the 43-year-old claimed the notable scalps of Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade and 2006 Lakeside champion Jelle Klaasen to reach the quarter-finals.

There, he ended the hopes of the talented Northern Irishman Daryl Gurney with a 6-4 win to reach the last four for the second time, after reaching the same stage in Ireland, last October.

Gilding faced the daunting task of playing 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor in the semi’s but defied a 104 average from his illustrious opponent to reach his first Pro Tour Final with a fantastic 6-4 win.

The Suffolk’s thrower’s hopes a of claiming the £10,000 winners prize were raised when led Bunting 4-3 in the decider, before eventually falling to a 6-5 defeat to the Liverpool star.

Phil Taylor produced a much improved display in Wigan on Saturday, following his whitewash defeat to Michael van Gerwen in the opening night of the 2014 Premier League Darts, and a first game defeat to Keegan Brown, in Friday’s Coral UK Open Qualifier.

After a tough 6-4 win in his first game against Joe Cullen, the world number two enjoyed easier progress with a 6-0 thrashing of Darren Johnson before confidence boosting wins over Peter Wright and Mervyn King secured his place in the last eight.

At that stage he defeated Justin Pipe by a 6-3 margin with the aid of a 101 average before falling to a surprise semi-final loss to Gilding, but took away £2,500 for his efforts, securing his qualification for Minehead next month.

Taylor was joined in the semi-finals by Steve Beaton who backed up his quarter-final showing 24 hours earlier with a fine run to semi-finals on Saturday, where he was denied a place in the final by Bunting.

Daryl Gurney reached his second Pro Tour quarter-final thanks to a dramatic 6-5 win where he hit a 146 checkout to knock out World Champion Michael van Gerwen before being edged out a by 6-4 margin to Gilding in the last eight.

Premier League stars Raymond van Barneveld and Gary Anderson suffered shock first games defeats along with Friday’s Coral UK Open Qualifier winner Andy Hamilton, who was brought back down to earth by a 6-3 loss to Dean Winstanley.

The triple header of Coral UK Open Qualifiers concludes on Sunday at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan, where the third qualifier will take place with £50,000 on offer.

Coral UK Open Qualifier One Darts Results

Saturday February 8 


Preliminary Round 
Dimitri Van Den Bergh 6-3 Lee Grimshaw
Jon Jukes 6-4 Antonio Alcinas
Ian Moss 6-3 Matthew Dicken
Eric van Meel 6-5 Tony Stone
Mareno Michels 6-2 Mark Cox
Scott Mackenzie 6-2 Brett Claydon
Peter Evison 6-1 Jamie Gemmell
Alan Derrett 6-2 Alan James Tabern Jnr
Darren Webster 6-1 Shane Edwards
Steve West 6-2 Leon de Geus
Ian Lever 6-5 Steven Mead

First Round 
Mark Walsh Bye
Mark Barilli 6-5 Alan Tabern
Ben Ward 6-1 Damien Sherwood
Kevin Thomas 6-4 Dimitri Van Den Bergh
Steve Beaton Bye
Arron Monk 6-3 David Ladley
James Hubbard 6-3 Adrian Gray
Stuart Bousfield 6-2 Richard van Zijtveld
Kevin Painter Bye
Jamie Landon 6-3 Michael Burgoine
Lee Palfreyman 6-1 Ben Gaiter
Rocco Maes 6-3 Mark Stephenson
Gary Anderson Bye
Nick Fullwell 6-3 Stuart White
Joe Murnan 6-2 Joey Palfreyman
Mark Forman 6-5 Lee Moffat
Andy Smith Bye
Tony Richardson 6-1 Andy Parsons
Jyhan Artut 6-2 Scott Johnson
Dyson Parody 6-0 Jon Jukes
Stuart Kellett Bye
Matthew Dennant 6-3 Keith J Stephen
Brian Woods 6-5 Steve Grubb
Ian Moss 6-5 Gaz Cousins
Kim Huybrechts Bye
Dennis Priestley 6-0 Ryan Herrington
Steve Hine 6-5 Barrie Bates
Ross Smith 6-4 Mark Jones
Robert Thornton Bye
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Sean Ryan
Joey Ten Berge 6-5 Jake Patchett
Ewan Hyslop 6-2 Tomas Seyler
Paul Nicholson Bye
Pete Dyos 6-3 Ian McFarlane
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Prakash Jiwa
Johnny Haines 6-1 Eric van Meel
Ian White Bye
Jay Foreman 6-2 Bernd Roith
Wayne Thomas 6-4 Richie Howson
Stuart Anderson 6-2 Wayne Dunn
Vincent van der Voort Bye
John Scott 6-4 Par Riihonen
Jamie Guilfoyle 6-5 Ricky Sudale
Ronny Huybrechts 6-1 Mareno Michels
Mark Webster Bye
Michael Barnard 6-5 Ron Meulenkamp
Ryan Harrington 6-5 Jim Walker
Scott Mackenzie 6-2 Aden Kirk
Terry Jenkins Bye
Kirk Shepherd 6-4 Ryan De Vreede
Steven Cupitt 6-4 Dave Kelly
Jeff Batham 6-2 Colin Osborne
Jamie Caven Bye
Adam Hunt 6-3 Marc Dewsbury
Magnus Caris 6-2 Paul Redfern
Colin Fowler 6-1 David Copley
Michael Smith Bye
William O’Connor 6-3 Dan Russell
Gino Vos 6-3 Luke Woodhouse
John Bowles 6-2 Peter Evison
Wayne Jones Bye
Michael Rasztovits 6-3 Max Hopp
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Dick van Dijk
Alan Derrett 6-5 Robert Owen
Dave Chisnall Bye
Dave Weston 6-1 Michael Blake
Dave Place 6-2 Terry Roach
John Newland 6-0 Krit Middleton
Mervyn King Bye
Jerry Hendriks 6-0 Michael Uxa
Scott Rand 6-2 Stephen McNally
Garry Spedding 6-4 Benito van de Pas
Peter Wright Bye
Jamie Lewis 6-1 Ryan Palmer
Mark Dudbridge 6-1 Mark Flawn
Conan Whitehead 6-2 Lee Hayes
Phil Taylor Bye
Joe Cullen 6-3 Andree Welge
Darren Johnson 6-2 Nigel Heydon
Tim Martin 6-1 Darren Mawer
Justin Pipe Bye
Chris Aubrey 6-0 David A Murphy
Paul Rowley 6-2 Dave Bird
Christian Kist 6-5 Mark Lawrence
Simon Whitlock Bye
James Richardson 6-4 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Jonathan Worsley 6-4 Peter Hudson
Gary Stone 6-5 Dennis Smith
Brendan Dolan Bye
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Lewis McGurn
Kurt Parry 6-5 Andrew Johnson
Sam Hill 6-5 Nathan Richards
Andy Hamilton Bye
Dean Winstanley 6-5 Andy Jenkins
Mark Hylton 6-0 Paul Lennon
Jason Hogg 6-5 Kevin McDine
Michael van Gerwen Bye
Ricky Evans 6-2 Martyn Turner
David Pallett 6-0 Denis Ovens
Keegan Brown 6-0 Stephen Perkins
Wes Newton Bye
Jack Tweddell 6-4 Dylan Duo
Josh Payne 6-1 Brandon Walsh
Kevin Dowling 6-3 Andy Pearce
John Part Bye
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Steve Maish
Matt Clark 6-5 Steve Douglas
Darren Webster 6-3 Terry Temple
Richie Burnett Bye
Michael Mansell 6-1 Paul Carter
Matthew Edgar 6-5 Mick Todd
John Henderson 6-3 Steve West
Jelle Klaasen Bye
Danny de Haas 6-4 Steven Pearson
Darron Brown 6-3 Glenn Spearing
Nathan Derry 6-3 Ian Lever
Ronnie Baxter Bye
Martin Homer 6-3 Dave Honey
Doug Thompson 6-1 Tony Tasker
Steve Brown 6-3 Paul Amos
James Wade Bye
Andy Relf 6-4 Tony Newell
Matt Padgett 6-2 Darren Whittingham
Robert Parker 6-3 Mark Jones (Worcs)
Raymond van Barneveld Bye
Andrew Gilding 6-5 Jamie Robinson
Adam Smith Neale 6-2 Jason Wilson
Jason Lovett 6-4 Andrew Howarth

Second Round 
Mark Barilli 6-4 Mark Walsh
Ben Ward 6-4 Kevin Thomas
Steve Beaton 6-2 Arron Monk
James Hubbard 6-3 Stuart Bousfield
Kevin Painter 6-2 Jamie Landon
Rocco Maes 6-4 Lee Palfreyman
Nick Fullwell 6-4 Gary Anderson
Joe Murnan 6-5 Mark Forman
Andy Smith 6-3 Tony Richardson
Jyhan Artut 6-4 Dyson Parody
Stuart Kellett 6-2 Matthew Dennant
Ian Moss 6-3 Brian Woods
Kim Huybrechts 6-0 Dennis Priestley
Steve Hine 6-3 Ross Smith
Robert Thornton 6-5 Gerwyn Price
Joey Ten Berge 6-3 Ewan Hyslop
Paul Nicholson 6-1 Pete Dyos
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Johnny Haines
Ian White 6-2 Jay Foreman
Wayne Thomas 6-3 Stuart Anderson
Vincent van der Voort 6-0 John Scott
Ronny Huybrechts 6-2 Jamie Guilfoyle
Mark Webster 6-1 Michael Barnard
Ryan Harrington 6-3 Scott Mackenzie
Terry Jenkins 6-1 Kirk Shepherd
Jeff Batham 6-3 Steven Cupitt
Adam Hunt 6-3 Jamie Caven
Colin Fowler 6-4 Magnus Caris
Michael Smith 6-5 William O’Connor
John Bowles 6-5 Gino Vos
Wayne Jones 6-4 Michael Rasztovits
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Alan Derrett
Dave Weston 6-4 Dave Chisnall
Dave Place 6-3 John Newland
Mervyn King 6-3 Jerry Hendriks
Garry Spedding 6-3 Scott Rand
Peter Wright 6-5 Jamie Lewis
Conan Whitehead 6-5 Mark Dudbridge
Phil Taylor 6-4 Joe Cullen
Darren Johnson 6-5 Tim Martin
Justin Pipe 6-3 Chris Aubrey
Christian Kist 6-1 Paul Rowley
Simon Whitlock 6-2 James Richardson
Jonathan Worsley 6-4 Gary Stone
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Kurt Parry 6-0 Sam Hill
Dean Winstanley 6-3 Andy Hamilton
Mark Hylton 6-4 Jason Hogg
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Ricky Evans
Keegan Brown 6-4 David Pallett
Wes Newton 6-2 Jack Tweddell
Josh Payne 6-5 Kevin Dowling
Daryl Gurney 6-3 John Part
Darren Webster 6-1 Matt Clark
Michael Mansell 6-3 Richie Burnett
Matthew Edgar 6-4 John Henderson
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Danny de Haas
Nathan Derry 6-4 Darron Brown
Ronnie Baxter 6-0 Martin Homer
Steve Brown 6-3 Doug Thompson
James Wade 6-1 Andy Relf
Matt Padgett 6-4 Robert Parker
Andrew Gilding 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Jason Lovett 6-5 Adam Smith Neale

Third Round 
Ben Ward 6-5 Mark Barilli
Steve Beaton 6-4 James Hubbard
Kevin Painter 6-3 Rocco Maes
Nick Fullwell 6-2 Joe Murnan
Andy Smith 6-4 Jyhan Artut
Stuart Kellett 6-1 Ian Moss
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Steve Hine
Robert Thornton 6-4 Joey Ten Berge
Paul Nicholson 6-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Ian White 6-3 Wayne Thomas
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Ronny Huybrechts
Mark Webster 6-2 Ryan Harrington
Terry Jenkins 6-1 Jeff Batham
Adam Hunt 6-2 Colin Fowler
John Bowles 6-4 Michael Smith
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Wayne Jones
Dave Weston 6-4 Dave Place
Mervyn King 6-4 Garry Spedding
Peter Wright 6-4 Conan Whitehead
Phil Taylor 6-0 Darren Johnson
Justin Pipe 6-1 Christian Kist
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Jonathan Worsley
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Kurt Parry
Dean Winstanley 6-4 Mark Hylton
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Keegan Brown
Wes Newton 6-4 Josh Payne
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Darren Webster
Matthew Edgar 6-3 Michael Mansell
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Nathan Derry
Ronnie Baxter 6-4 Steve Brown
James Wade 6-2 Matt Padgett
Andrew Gilding 6-2 Jason Lovett
Losers £250

Fourth Round 
Steve Beaton 6-5 Ben Ward
Nick Fullwell 6-2 Kevin Painter
Andy Smith 6-5 Stuart Kellett
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Robert Thornton
Paul Nicholson 6-5 Ian White
Mark Webster 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Terry Jenkins 6-4 Adam Hunt
Stephen Bunting 6-4 John Bowles
Mervyn King 6-3 Dave Weston
Phil Taylor 6-4 Peter Wright
Justin Pipe 6-2 Simon Whitlock
Mensur Suljovic 6-4 Dean Winstanley
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Wes Newton
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Matthew Edgar
Jelle Klaasen 6-2 Ronnie Baxter
Andrew Gilding 6-0 James Wade
Losers £500

Fifth Round 
Steve Beaton 6-2 Nick Fullwell
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Andy Smith
Paul Nicholson 6-5 Mark Webster
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Terry Jenkins
Phil Taylor 6-3 Mervyn King
Justin Pipe 6-3 Mensur Suljovic
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Andrew Gilding 6-4 Jelle Klaasen
Losers £1,000

Steve Beaton 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Paul Nicholson
Phil Taylor 6-3 Justin Pipe
Andrew Gilding 6-4 Daryl Gurney
Losers £1,500

Stephen Bunting 6-2 Steve Beaton
Andrew Gilding 6-4 Phil Taylor
Losers £2,500

Stephen Bunting 6-5 Andrew Gilding
Winner £10,000
Runner-Up £5,000

Final – Leg-by-Leg 
0-1 – Both players show signs of nerves in their first Pro Tour final as numerous doubles are missed. Gilding finds double one to hold throw.
1-1 – Bunting draws level as he hits double eight.
2-1 – Bunting breaks throw on double eight after Gilding missed two chances to regain the lead.
2-2 – Gilding hits back as he takes out a 76 finish to level the contest.
2-3 – Gilding converts a 68 finish to edge ahead for the second time.
3-3 – Bunting defies a 174 score from his opponent to win the sixth leg on double ten and keep the game tight.
3-4 – Gilding hits a trio of 140 scores to take command of the leg before winning it on double six.
4-4 – Bunting hits a 180 and 177 to raise hopes of a nine-darter. It’s not to be but the Lakeside champion wins the leg on double 16.
5-4 – The Merseyside ace hits a 171 score followed by a brilliant 130 checkout on the bullseye to move a leg away from victory.
5-5 – Gilding battles back well as he hits a 76 finish for the second time in the game with his opponent waiting on 50.
6-5 – Bunting closes out the final in style with a fantastic 161 checkout to win his first PDC Pro Tour title.

Match Stats

Stephen Bunting 6-5 Andrew Gilding
15 100+ 11
8 140+ 9
2 170+ 1
2 180 1
96.38 Average 89.95
161 High Finish 76
3 Breaks of Throw 2