Burnett into World Bowls final

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A scintillating display from Darren Burnett saw him reach his first Just Retirement World Indoor Singles final as he crushed Robert Paxton 9-6 12-2 at Potters.

Such was the Arbroath community policeman’s performance, that his opponent insisted he had “winner” stamped all over him “if he performs like that tomorrow”.

Burnett, who was cheered on by wife Linsay and children Isla and Evie, was clearly delighted to make it to Sunday’s showpiece event. He said: “It’s absolutely tremendous to make the final. I have made the semi-final before, but to go one stage further is amazing.”

The first three ends, though, were Paxton’s best of the match as he produced some exquisite draws to race into a 4-1 lead, looking much like the player who had seen off Andy Thomson in such dominant display a day earlier.

But the tide turned on end four as Burnett claimed a three, which should have been a full house, as he failed to bowl in with his last effort and moved one shot ahead on the next end.

A double from Paxton saw him reclaim the lead, but from then on Burnett dominated in some style. A two put him back in front and he then grabbed two singles to seize the first-set initiative 9-6.

The second set was a Burnett exhibition as he mesmerised Paxton with some fabulous drawing, to which his Somerset-based opponent just had no answer to.

Burnett opened up a 9-0 lead after four ends to all but knock the stuffing out of Paxton, as he found the jack with increasing regularity and by end seven it was all over as he booked his place in the final with a second-set 12-2 success.

After his dominant display, Burnett has eyes on the big one as he seeks a first World Indoor crown.

“There’s no reason why I can’t go on to win it now as I have played slightly better each game, so there’s no reason why the form should suddenly go,” he said.

“Every round I have got more and more consistent and hopefully it continues in the final. If I keep my form up then the final’s going to be close.”

On the match itself, he paid tribute to Paxton who started well, but faded badly. He said: “In fairness to Robert, his first two or three ends were unbelievable and I thought I was going to have a hard, hard match. But thankfully my running bowls were pretty accurate early on to keep me in the set band my drawing game came together and I dominated from there on in.”