Darren books his place in bowling semis

Darren Burnett
Darren Burnett

Arbroath policeman Darren Burnett marched into the Just Retirement World Indoor Singles semi-final for only the second time after a thrilling tie-break success over defending champion Stewart Anderson.

Burnett, who is provisionally ranked number nine in the world, had previously seen off 2010 champion Greg Harlow and produced a tremendous performance in winning 6-7 9-3 2-1.

He was naturally delighted with not only his victory, but the manner in which he won, and he will now face Robert Paxton, who he beat in the second round at Potters two years ago, in the semi-final.

“A performance like that has been coming, but it’s just taken longer than I would have hoped,” said the 37-year-old, who was cheered on by his two young daughters, Isla and Evie.

“I had to be top drawer against Stewart as he was not going to have a bad game – he was not going to just turn up and struggle – I was very impressed with the way I played.”

It could have been a more resounding win for Burnett as he built a decent lead in the first set, only for Anderson to hit back and gain a 6-5 advantage, which became 6-6 going into the final end, with the reigning champion nicking a single to claim first blood, 7-6.

“I was disappointed as I had him at 5-1 and just eased up a little bit,” added Burnett, who plays at the Arbroath & District Indoor Club. “To be fair to Stewart he kept me under pressure. A couple of my runners just didn’t happen for me and that was probably the difference in that first set.”

The second set was a different story, with Burnett producing some of his best bowls of the tournament as he hit back from 2-1 down to march 9-2 ahead and eventually ensured a tie-break with a 9-3 triumph.

He added: “I dug deep in the second and I was really pleased. I thought I had the upper hand with consistency and I thought he had to play more runners as I put him under pressure.”

He lost the first end of the tie-break to a wonder bowl from Anderson who clipped out his shot with his final effort, but Burnett drew brilliantly to the jack to tie things up and again stuck one on the pot, which Anderson failed remove and leave him dreaming of a first World final at the hallowed Potters venue.

He concluded: “I never really put myself under pressure, which was a credit to the way I played. I never once felt I put myself in a bad position. Once I got the second set, I plugged on and managed to come out on top in the end.”