A day after ousting six-time World Indoor Singles champion Alex Marshall – for the second tournament in a row – the Melton Indoor Bowls Club member wasn’t able to tame another Scot, with Burnett powering through after a tight first set 7-7, 11-2.
The first set was nip-and-tuck all the way, but the second was a one-sided affair, with Burnett turning on the style in front of his home crowd.
And with a deficit of eight with two ends to go, Gillett sportingly delivered his first bowl straight into the ditch to hand his opponent victory rather than go through the motions of picking up two highly unlikely full houses.
“The first set could have gone either way – I was hoping for a two on the final end, but Darren made it impossible for me, so I ran away and got a tie,” said Gillett who moves up to at least 10th in the world rankings following his run north of the border.
“In hindsight, I should have gone for it, but hindsight’s a wonderful thing. Darren put me under pressure and I tended to use the green about a yard short every end for some reason, I don’t know why.
“I just couldn’t reach and Darren punished me. Full credit to him, the best player won on the day, definitely.”
Gillett had edged past qualifier Scott Edwards in the first round, before dumping Marshall out of the tournament, repeating his feat from the world championships back in January, when the 46-year-old beat the legendary Scot in straight sets.
“It was a fantastic game,” Gillett said of Wednesday’s 7-7, 6-4 win.
“Alex and I always seem to have epic encounters, although I wouldn’t say we bowled to our full potential.
“It was a bit tough at times with some of the hands, but you do what you can. It was a great achievement to beat Alex.”