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Imperious Stephen Bunting Wins the 40th Winmau World Masters

All the talk in Hull surrounded who would take the coveted Winmau World Masters (in Association with EY Events and Hull City Council) title in this 40th anniversary year. Would it be World Champion Scott Waites, the ever-popular Darryl Fitton or Martin Adams who has returned to some great form recently? It was reigning champion and the BDO number 1 ranked player Stephen Bunting who successfully defended his Masters title – an achievement that has only been repeated by Eric Bristow, Martin Adams and Bob Anderson in the Men’s event.

The man known as “The Bullet” produced some of the most dynamic darts of his career to electrify the crowd and claim the superb Masters trophy for a second successive time. Such was Bunting’s dominance that he didn't drop a single set in the entire event, and his confidence oozed on the oche with show piece finishes like bull, bull, double 16.

Bunting’s imperious form has grown over the last few years. He's served a tough apprenticeship on the BDO circuit, having his share of heartbreak and disappointment on the big TV stages, but averaging close to a 100 in every game saw “The Bullet” surge to the title, and his last double 10 in the 7th set to white wash James Wilson 7 – 0 prompted tears as the enormity of his achievement sunk in.

No wonder the 28 year-old told the press at Hull it was his finest form ever on TV, a glittering display now only lacking the next major title - the Lakeside World Professional. "It's an amazing feeling," Bunting told a press conference. "I threw some of the best darts I've ever played under pressure, finishing better than I've ever done. It's a day I'll always cherish. I had to compose myself in the last set because I realised The Masters Championship was in my control. That's when I started to get emotional. It's a special moment to be a part of the history of this amazing tournament".

Stephen’s run to the final was by no means assured. He started with a comfortable victory against the qualifier John Michael, then faced a mouth-watering clash with Wes Harms who had just beaten him 7 -6 in the World Cup Singles in Canada, but Bunting powered passed Harms in another 3 sets to nil victory.

Remco van Eijden had beaten Glen Durrant in a superb last 16 game by 3 -2, but the in-form Dutch maestro was no match for Bunting’s superb scoring and he won 3 - 0 again. His reward was a match against crowd favourite Darryl Fitton in the semi-final. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Bunting breezed past Fitton, one of his childhood heroes, in a straight set demolition that left James Wilson (the number 2 ranked player in the BDO) in the way of his second successive Winmau World Masters title.

James himself had a tough run to the final beating 3 times World Masters champion Martin Adams, Ryan Searle and the very in-form Robbie Green. In the final, James couldn't hit his doubles and Bunting took full advantage in what was another classy display.

Stephen "The Bullet" Bunting has come a long way since dreaming of winning major darts events from a young age, and confirms himself as one of the best players in World darts today.

In the Women’s event, Deta Hedman beat Rachel Brooks 4 -1 live on Eurosport and Winmau TV to win her second Winmau World Masters title 19 years after she first claimed victory in the world’s oldest major darts tournament.

The Dark Destroyer was in buoyant mood as she revelled in the high pressure surroundings the World Masters televised stage offers. She beat Grace Crane by 4 -2 in the last 16 then faced the in-form Irina Armstrong who she edged past in a final leg thriller by 4 -3. Fallon Sherrock was her next victim before she met Rachel Brooks in the final. Rachel had quietly bought her superb floor form to the stage, but the final was a step to far to prevent Deta from winning her second title.

Whilst the Winmau World Maters caters for the best talent in World darts, it also provides the largest platform for the next generation to showcase their skills on the big stage. England’s Shaun Lovett beat the Netherlands Colin Roelofs 4 -2 in the Boys World Masters event, whilst Casey Gallagher beat Kayleigh O’Neill 4 - 0 in the Girls Youth Final.

Ian Flack, Sales and Marketing Director of Winmau, said: “We couldn’t have wished for a better tournament in the 40th year of this amazing, world-class event. The standard of play was superb, the atmosphere was electric and we are so proud of everyone involved in making the 2013 Winmau World Masters such a huge success. Stephen was simply unstoppable in the Men’s draw, Deta continued her fine run of form in the Women’s, Casey added to her wealth of international honours in the Girls and Shaun showed what a superb talent he is in the Boys event. There are so many people working very hard behind the scenes to put on one of the best darts tournaments in the world, and our thanks go to each and every one of them. We must also thank our global broadcast partners Eurosport, and we appreciate all the support of Winmau TV from the global darts community.”

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Date : 15-10-2013



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