Stephen Bunting overcame long odds again Wednesday and snapped a six-year drought as he made it to the PDC World Championship quarter-final for the first time since his debut season.
Nicknamed The Bullet, the 35-year-old Englishman and 26 seed took the first set against fellow countryman, the 33-year-old fan favorite Ryan “Heavy Metal” Searle, aptly nicknamed for his long hair, throwing arm sleeve tattoo, and choice in music genres.
11-Dart Breaks Define Bunting-Searle Match
Searle at -170 brought the second set to a deciding leg but dropped to 0-2 when Bunting opened with a maximum. Bunting grew cold, missing six set darts in the third, and Searle started to see daylight at 2-1 and then knotted it up in the fourth.
Bunting found his groove in the deciding set once more, winning four straight legs, but Searle hit four of his own and took the lead—then came upon the second-most-memorable moment in the last day of action with an 11-darter against the throw to move within one of the match.
Only an 11-dart break of his own could match up, and Bunting responded did just that, forcing a last-leg decider and prevailing 4-3 for arguably the most complete match of the tournament thus far.
It seems like Bunting, who also completed a comeback vs. James Wade’s already legendary nine-darter yesterday, is the man to watch in the round of eight vs. favored Polish darts champion Krzysztof Ratajski.
Here is the complete Bunting-Searle match:
Also advancing to the round of eight, Irishman Daryl Gurney. The 11th seed took it to the Dutch Destroyer Vincent van der Voort 4-2.
As a favorite, Gary “The Flying Scotsman” Anderson (-135) shocked South African Devon Peterson four-nil winning the first set without dropping a leg and opened the second with a 160 checkout.
Afternoon Action at Alexandra Palace Sees Favorites Push Through
In Wednesday afternoon action from London’s Alexandra Palace, heavy favorite (-250) Welshman Gerwyn “The Iceman” Price played lived up to his moniker as he cruised to a 4-1 victory over Mervyn King to reach the final eight.
Joining Price in the quarter-finals were the former aubergine farmer Dutchman van Duijvenbode and 40-year-old Englishman Dave Chisnall.
Van Duijvenbode fought from behind to best Englishman Glen “Duzza” Durrant. And Chisnall took out two-time youth champion 26-year-old Dimitri van den Bergh and set up a quarter-final with three-time PDC champion against heavy favorite and current world No. 1 Michael van Gerwin.
Viewers can tune into the PDC World Darts Championship, including the final on Sunday, Jan. 3, at skysports.com/darts, or by using the skysports app.
PDC World Darts Championship Round of Eight, Jan 1, 2021,* Odds According to Bovada.
4:10 a.m. Gary Anderson (-110) v. Dirk van Duijvenbode (-120)
4:15 a.m. Krzysztof Ratajski (-195) v. Stephen Bunting (+150)
10:15 a.m. Gerwyn Price (-260) v. Daryl Gurney (+205)
Noon Michael van Gerwen (-600) v. Dave Chisnall (+400)
*All times ET