Burnett advances to final in style

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The Independent Online

Richie Burnett reached his first Stan James World Matchplay Championship final with a convincing 17-6 victory over Steve Beaton in Blackpool last night.

The "Prince of Wales" went a stage further than last year with an impressive display against the man who deposed him as Embassy world champion in 1996.

There was no sign of the rout that lay ahead when the 37-year-old from Warwickshire held his throw in the first leg. But then Burnett reeled off seven in succession and there was no way back for Beaton as his opponent kept up his high standard on the way to an excellent three-dart average of 91.

Burnett, 34, from Rhondda, recorded nine 180s and after a 115 checkout put him one leg from victory, he secured victory with a winning double four.

The Welshman admitted he was surprised by the ease of his success with Beaton having clearly left his best form backstage.

"I was ready for a game tonight," said Burnett, who was due to meet the winner of the second semi-final between Phil Taylor and Martin Adams.

"I didn't think it would be so comfortable but I'll take it. I just knuckled down and did a professional job."

Beaton was disappointed with his performance and in particular his finishing. "It just didn't go for me tonight," he said. "I missed quite a few doubles and it left me chasing the game. I kept going but Richie killed me.

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