SCOTT Mitchell saw progress to the knockout rounds of the Grand Slam of Darts slip through his fingers after he surrendered a three-leg lead against Stephen Bunting.

The Bransgore thrower needed to win to guarantee his path beyond the group stage at the £450,000 tournament for the first time in three attempts.

And despite charging into a 3-0 lead at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Mitchell allowed his opponent – ranked 21 in the PDC standings – back into it.

BDO star Mitchell eventually lost 5-4 as both players struggled in a pressurised final-leg shootout.

Surviving Bunting's heavy scoring in the first leg, the 47-year-old took out 76 on double four.

'Scotty Dog' kicked off with a 180 next and after missing his first two attempts at tops, he hit double 10 when he needed it.

Averaging 106 early in leg three, Mitchell produced a well timed 140 with 201 left. And despite hitting bull with 61 left, he coolly took out single three and double four to roar 3-0 in front.

Bunting was far from done and he first mopped up 48 before pinning double four to close to one leg the gap.

It seemed like momentum had swung back in the Dorset star's favour when Bunting missed the bull to close out 120, only for Mitchell to go high with three attempts at tops.

And Bunting nailed double eight to pull it back to 3-3.

The duo won further leg apiece to send the match to a decider and St Helens ace Bunting inched across the line when he swept up 54 on double 10.