Bunting stuns 9-dart Van Gerwen to win Players Championship 2!

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Stephen Bunting marked his return to form in stunning style as he defeated the Premier League quartet of Robert Thornton, Adrian Lewis, Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen to win Players Championship 2 at the Barnsley Metrodome, on Sunday afternoon.

Bunting performed tremendously throughout the day and defeated 9-dart hero and world-number one Michael van Gerwen 6-4 in the final. Van Gerwen had posted a spectacular 9-darter in his quarter-final rout of Ian White, but he was unable to overcome ‘The Bullet’ in the afternoon’s curtain-raiser.

The St Helen’s star began his campaign with a comprehensive 6-1 win against Johnny Haines, before beating his good friend and former BDO colleague Robbie Green in round-two. Bunting then defeated Robert Thornton 6-5 in the last 32, before sealing his quarter-final berth by virtue of another deciding leg victory, this time against Adrian Lewis.

The former Lakeside champion eased through to the last four with an emphatic 6-1 victory against Andrew Gilding, before beating Saturday’s victor Peter Wright, in his third last-leg shoot-out of the day. Michael van Gerwen awaited in the final, but Bunting delivered, to scoop the £10,000 winner’s cheque; sealing his second PDC ranking title in the process.

Although Michael van Gerwen was unable to clinch the title, the world number one was in tremendous form throughout. He eased through to round-two with a routine triumph against Simon Stevenson, before whitewashing David Pallett in extraordinary style. MvG completed the victory with a staggering 150 checkout, by virtue of hitting three bullseyes.

Michael survived a major scare against Jamie Caven in round-three, edging through in a deciding leg. The Dutchman then defeated Gary Anderson’s conqueror, Steve West in round-four, before clinching a semi-final spot with a 6-1 demolition against Ian White. MvG hit a perfect 9-dart finish in the opening leg of this last eight encounter.

Van Gerwen was pushed all the way by Kyle Anderson in the last four, but the world number one held his nerve to progress 6-5. However, his hopes of securing yet another ranking title were quashed by an inspired Bunting.

Another man in fine form is Kyle Anderson, who came agonisingly close to reaching his first PDC ranking final. He kicked off proceedings on Sunday afternoon with a fine 6-3 victory over Daryl Gurney, before edging past Mickey Mansell to reach round-three. Anderson then dismantled Benito van de Pas 6-1 to reach the last 16.

‘The Original’ made it through to the quarter-finals by coming through his second last-leg shoot-out of the afternoon; this time against Ricky Evans. Anderson then eased past Suljovic 6-3 to reach the last four, where he was beaten in a last-leg decider by ‘The Green Machine’.

Peter Wright’s hopes of securing back-to-back Players Championship titles were ended in the last four by the eventual winner Bunting. Wright had eased past Shaun Griffiths and Steve Hine to reach round-three, where he then defeated talented Dutchman Dirk van Duijvenbode.

Snakebite came through a deciding leg against young Chris Dobey in round-f0ur, before beating Joe Cullen for the third time in a week. Cullen impressed once more in Barnsley, but he was again denied by the Scot.

Wright overcame Cullen in last weekend’s UK Open quarter-final, before beating him in the semi-final of yesterday’s opening Players Championship event. Wright edged past ‘The Rockstar’ 6-4 today, but couldn’t secure another title, losing 6-5 to Bunting. Cullen, meanwhile defeated the likes of Jyhan Artut and Terry Jenkins to reach the last eight.

Andrew Gilding also reached the last eight by virtue of some fine displays. ‘Goldfinger’ has been struggling of late but he reached the third-round with comprehensive victories over Wayne Jones and Keegan Brown, where he then saw off Michael Smith in a deciding leg. Gilding then overcame Matt Clark, before losing to ‘The Bullet’ 6-1.

Mensur Suljovic reached another Pro-Tour quarter-final, although his hopes of reaching a maiden ranking final were quashed by Kyle Anderson. Suljovic defeated Mark Walsh, Gerwyn Price and Wes Newton, before losing to the Australian in the last eight.

Wes Newton enjoyed a welcome return to form, reaching the last 16 before losing to Suljovic. ‘The Warrior’ edged out Paul Nicholson 6-4 in round-one, before recording successive 6-2 triumphs against both Raymond van Barneveld and Kim Huybrechts. Yet, Wes subsequently suffered defeat against ‘The Gentle’ by the same scoreline.

James Wade suffered a shock 6-2 defeat to Ireland’s Mick McGowan in round-two, whilst Gary Anderson fell to a surprise third-round losse against Steve West. Nevertheless, the biggest shock of the day saw Phil Taylor dumped out in round-three by Matt Clark in a deciding leg.

Elsewhere, Robert Thornton claimed confidence-boosting 6-5 victories against Ken MacNeil and Terry Temple, before losing to Bunting in an eleventh and deciding leg. Yet, it was another disappointing day for Vincent van der Voort, who suffered a second successive first-round exit after succumbing to a 6-4 defeat against Steve Brown.

Players Championship Two
Sunday March 13, Barnsley Metrodome
First Round

Michael van Gerwen (1) 6-2 Simon Stevenson
David Pallett 6-4 Andy Parsons
Jamie Caven (32) 6-2 James Wilson
Andy Hamilton 6-4 Vincent Kamphuis
Gary Anderson (16) 6-0 Jan Dekker
Cristo Reyes 6-1 Brian Woods
Mervyn King (17) 6-3 Matthew Edgar
Steve West 6-1 Stuart Kellett
Ian White (8) 6-2 Mike De Decker
Devon Petersen 6-4 Alan Tabern
Jamie Lewis (25) 6-4 Mark Barilli
Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Nigel Daniels
Jelle Klaasen (9) 6-1 James Richardson
Darren Johnson 6-4 Le Palfreyman
Alan Norris (24) 6-3 Josh Payne
Dennis Smith 6-4 Andy Jenkins
James Wade (5) 6-5 Richie Corner
Mick McGowan 6-5 John Part
Ross Smith 6-5 Steve Beaton (28)
Ricky Evans 6-1 Brett Claydon
Benito van de Pas (12) 6-3 Jason Wilson
Darron Brown 6-1 Ryan Palmer
Kyle Anderson 6-3 Daryl Gurney (21)
Mickey Mansell 6-2 Ray Campbell
Kim Huybrechts (4) 6-5 Magnus Caris
Jim Walker 6-4 Kevin Painter
Raymond van Barneveld (29) 6-3 Prakash Jiwa
Wes Newton 6-4 Paul Nicholson
Mensur Suljovic (13) 6-5 Yordi Meeuwisse
Mark Walsh 6-1 Tony Richardson
Gerwyn Price (20) 6-0 Harry Robinson
Ryan Meikle 6-1 Curtis Hammond
Peter Wright (2) 6-1 Shaun Griffiths
Steve Hine 6-1 Ricky Williams
Nigel Heydon 6-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 Matthew Dennant
Simon Whitlock (15) 6-1 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Ronnie Baxter 6-1 Jeffrey de Graaf
Jamie Robinson 6-5 Justin Pipe (18)
Chris Dobey 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Dave Chisnall (7) 6-3 Dean Winstanley
Ron Meulenkamp 6-5 Jason Lovett
Jyhan Artut 6-5 John Henderson (26)
Robert Owen 6-5 Jason Marriott
Terry Jenkins (10) 6-3 John Bowles
Mike Zuydwijk 6-4 Max Hopp
Steve Brown 6-4 Vincent van der Voort (23)
Joe Cullen 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Adrian Lewis (6) 6-1 Jonathan Worsley
Darren Webster 6-1 Steve McNally
Mark Webster (27) 6-5 Peter Hudson
Joe Murnan 6-0 Tony Newell
Robert Thornton (11) 6-5 Ken MacNeil
Terry Temple 6-4 Andy Boulton
Stephen Bunting (22) 6-1 Johnny Haines
Robbie Green 6-1 Stephen Willard
Michael Smith (3) 6-2 Nathan Aspinall
Ted Evetts 6-5 Joey Palfreyman
Keegan Brown (30) 6-1 Mark Frost
Andrew Gilding 6-1 Wayne Jones
Phil Taylor (14) 6-1 Berry van Peer
Ronny Huybrechts 6-2 Christian Kist
Brendan Dolan (19) 6-2 Nathan Derry
Matt Clark 6-5 Andy Smith

Second Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 David Pallett
Jamie Caven 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Gary Anderson 6-2 Cristo Reyes
Steve West 6-3 Mervyn King
Ian White 6-3 Devon Petersen
Jermaine Wattimena 6-1 Jamie Lewis
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Darren Johnson
Alan Norris 6-2 Dennis Smith
Mick McGowan 6-2 James Wade
Ricky Evans 6-3 Ross Smith
Benito van de Pas 6-2 Darron Brown
Kyle Anderson 6-5 Mickey Mansell
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Jim Walker
Wes Newton 6-2 Raymond van Barneveld
Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Mark Walsh
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Ryan Meikle
Peter Wright 6-3 Steve Hine
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 Nigel Heydon
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Ronnie Baxter
Chris Dobey 6-1 Jamie Robinson
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Jyhan Artut 6-3 Robert Owen
Terry Jenkins 6-5 Mike Zuydiwjk
Joe Cullen 6-3 Steve Brown
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Darren Webster
Joe Murnan 6-5 Mark Webster
Robert Thornton 6-5 Terry Temple
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Robbie Green
Michael Smith 6-1 Ted Evetts
Andew Gilding 6-2 Keegan Brown
Phil Taylor 6-0 Ronny Huybrechts
Matt Clark 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Losers £500

Third Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Jamie Caven
Steve West 6-4 Gary Anderson
Ian White 6-1 Jermaine Wattimena
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 Alan Norris
Ricky Evans 6-4 Mick McGowan
Kyle Anderson 6-1 Benito van de Pas
Wes Newton 6-2 Kim Huybrechts
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright 6-3 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Chris Dobey 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Jyhan Artut 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Joe Cullen 6-4 Terry Jenkins
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Joe Murnan
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Robert Thornton
Andrew Gilding 6-5 Michael Smith
Matt Clark 6-5 Phil Taylor
Losers £1,000

Fourth Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Steve West
Ian White 6-2 Jelle Klaasen
Kyle Anderson 6-5 Ricky Evans
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Wes Newton
Peter Wright 6-5 Chris Dobey
Joe Cullen 6-4 Jyhan Artut
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Adrian Lewis
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Matt Clark
Losers £1,500

Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Ian White – Michael van Gerwen hits nine-dart finish
Kyle Anderson 6-3 Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright 6-4 Joe Cullen
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Andrew Gilding
Losers £2,250

Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Kyle Anderson
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Peter Wright
Losers £3,000

Stephen Bunting 6-4 Michael van Gerwen
Winner £10,000
Runner-Up £6,000

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