Stephen Bunting sweeps to victory in latest night of PDC Home Tour action

Stephen Bunting feels like he is getting back towards his old self after comfortably winning Group 18 of the PDC Home Tour on Monday.

Bunting needed only to take three legs of his final match against Nathan Derry to secure top spot but did far more than that as he recorded his second 5-1 victory of the night, having already routed Kim Huybrechts.

Even then he was hard on himself after missing a handful of doubles, but his prolific scoring on the night had meant he could afford to.

“It’s always a bit weird when you know you only need to win three legs and not the match, it can take a bit of bite out of your performance and I think that’s what happened there,” he said.

“But I bit down on the cloth and got it over the line. I’m happy with the way I played in the first two but maybe not so much that game. The scoring is really good but the doubles eluded me.

“When I go back to my BDO days, the part of me being me was my scoring after nine darts, looking to leave around 170, and that sort of game is creeping back so I feel like I’m getting back to my best.”

Bunting had been in trouble in his opening match but rallied from 4-2 down to beat Harald Leitinger 5-4.

Huybrechts laid down his own challenge with a 5-2 win over Derry, and despite the loss to Bunting he kept his hopes of winning the group open with a 5-1 victory over Leitinger, only for Bunting to brush aside a disappointed Derry, who admitted, “I’ve been bloody awful”.

Jeffrey De Zwaan has pulled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury.

The 24-year-old was set to play in Group 20 on Wednesday but will undergo minor surgery on the problem, which has ruled him out of the home-based competition.

De Zwaan will be replaced by fellow Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena in a group containing three-time PDC ranking event winner Joe Cullen, Scotland’s Ryan Murray and John Michael, who will be joining from Greece.