Darren Burnett crashed out of the World Indoor Singles at the quarter-final stage, losing 4-8 4-8 to 15th seed Les Gillett at the Just 2017 World Professional Championships in Norfolk.
The match had started so well on the blue portable rink at Potters for the Arbroath copper, as he won singles on the first four ends, but his joy turned into a nightmare as he scored just one more shot over the next 11 ends to leave his hopes of repeating his 2014 success dangling by the thinnest of threads.
Needing seven shots from the last two ends to prolong the encounter, Burnett scored a double, but lost the measure for a third, which meant an early-than-hoped-for departure for the 40-year-old, and he was understandably none too pleased to be going home.
“It was stop-start, stop-start, stop-start all the way through, the game was never flowing,” said a disgruntled Burnett. “If it wasn’t crowd movement, if it wasn’t the camera boom, it was Les taking ages to bowl, it was just so slow and I never had any fluency on the rink.
“Having said that, I played a great bowl to win the first set and I got a horrendous result and I played another runner where I should have got a three, but I lost one. When you get things like that when you are not at your best, it’s massive.
“But I didn’t play well enough and that’s the bottom line.”
He took a swipe at his opponent, adding: “I just have to play better than him and just ignore it. Every end, it was like a minute and a half before the jack and bowl gets rolled, and there’s no shot clock on the first bowl, and you can do that.
“Les is just being very, very deliberate, it’s not the first game he’s done it. But you know what you’re going to get with him, he slaps his thigh and say he’s nowhere and he draws the shot. That said, I have to get my bowls closer than him and he can do what he wants.
“And people getting up out of the crowd and walking down the side of the rink, it just should not be happening at a World Championships. You need a bit of stewardship, it’s happened at nearly every game now.”