Bunting lands first Lakeside title
Tournament favourite and top seed Stephen Bunting sealed his first BDO World Championships title with a 7-4 triumph against Alan Norris.
With the players sharing the first six sets, Bunting moved up another level after the interval to win four of the next five and collect the £100,000 winner's cheque at Lakeside.
In the race to seven sets, underdog Norris came flying out of the blocks breaking his opponent before going on to seal the opener thanks to a 14-dart fourth leg.
Double six with his final dart helped Bunting break the Yeovil thrower for the first time in the third leg of the next set and he restored parity in the contest by taking out double eight.
'The Bullet' stole the third set in the deciding leg after Norris hit the wrong bed when needing 16 to take it against the darts.
But the former French Open, Luxembourg Open and Welsh Masters Champion soon made amends in the fourth to level the match.
An 82 checkout inspired the 28-year-old from St Helens to the fifth set, but Norris, who saw off Dutchman Jan Dekker 6-5 in the semi-finals, nailed double 10 to make it 3-3 at the interval in what was turning out to be a thoroughly enjoyable final in front of a packed house at Frimley Green in Surrey.
Bunting, who averaged 100 against Dave Prins in the last 16 - the first BDO century average since 2008 - took out finishes of 101 and 36 to move ahead again before landing double 16 in the fourth leg of the eighth set to take a 5-3 lead.
He whitewashed the 41-year-old in the next to move one set away from the title. However, the man known as 'Chuck' showed a never say die attitude by landing a magnificent 140 checkout to close the gap to 6-4.
Bunting, who went into the clash having won eight ranking events in 2013, picked up the pace with a cool 104 finish to break his fellow Englishman and move a leg away from victory.
And although Norris took out a 113 finish under pressure to win the third leg, it was over in the next when Bunting kept his cool to land double 16 and lift his maiden world title.
"It's been absolutely fantastic," said Bunting, who averaged 96 in the final. "This is my eighth time at the Lakeside and to be finally crowned champion is magnificent."