EMOTIONAL Stephen Bunting is hoping to use his run to the HappyBet European Darts Matchplay quarter-finals as the springboard to a successful second half of 2017.

The former Lakeside Champion has slipped to 21st on the PDC Order of Merit this year, and revealed during the European Tour event that he had even considered his future during a tough period.

Bunting defeated Kenny Neyens, Jelle Klaasen and Kyle Anderson in reaching the quarter-finals in Hamburg over the weekend, with his third round triumph over the Australian seeing him hit seven 180s, average 103 and miss double 12 for a nine-darter.

Although he later lost out in the quarter-finals to Cristo Reyes, Bunting had broken down in tears following his sensational third round victory, as the German crowd at the edel-optics.de Arena chanted his name.

"That actually feels like I've won the tournament," he told PDC Europe MC Elmar Paulke, of the reception he received from the fans in Hamburg.

"It's wonderful to be in Germany, and it's my favourite place to come, the fans are always great and it's nice to be back on this stage playing the way I know I can play, and I'm glad everyone enjoyed it."

The run was Bunting's best performance of 2017, and he is determined to push back towards the world's top 16 in the coming months.

"I'm working really hard behind the scenes," he added. "I was close to quitting a few months back, I've turned my life around, I feel really good in myself, really good. I've got a great management team behind me and family."