Paul Jennings denied English Masters darts title by Stephen Bunting


PAUL Jennings came within a leg of winning his second major darts tournament in three months last weekend.

Jenno, who already has the Polish Open on his mantlepiece, was beaten in the final of the England Masters by Stephen Bunting after a thrilling day on the oche.

His 6-5 loss to Bunting was as tight as the scoreline alludes to, the Headlander seeing a 4-2 lead pegged back by the Liverpudlian.

Afterwards, Jenno told SportMail that despite the disappointment of not adding the trophy to his collection, it was a “brilliant weekend” in front of his brother and friends.

“It could have gone either way against Bunty,” he said discussing the final.

“I was 4-2 up but the heat got to me.

“He then pulled it back and I leveled.

“The last leg was a free for all.”

Prior to his defeat against Bunting, Jennings produced one of his best ever days in front of the red and black board.

Although the scorching heat inside the venue made matters very hard for all, Jennings’ throwing did not seem to be affected by the red-hot temperatures.

“My darts was unbelievable – I’ve never played that well in a long time,” he went on.

“Everyone I played before the quarters I wiped the floor with.

“James Wilson is bang on form and I beat him 5-3 (in the semi-final).

“He’s the third best player on the circuit so I was never going to blow him away but I had too much for him.”

His route to the final included a battle with fellow town player Tony Eccles in the quarter-final.

Eccles, himself on form with a catalogue of last-16 and last-32 results in recent months, was just as keen to win the tournament and thus commenced a game of darts that Jennings described as “the best game I’ve ever played in”.

“The game against Tony was unbelievable,” he added.

“The lad marking the board said after that he had never seen a game like that.

“No game went over 13 darts.

“There were nine 180s, five for me, four for him.

“We must have averaged 40 each.

“We know each other’s games inside out and it was a great game of darts.”