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Good start for Prosser - but then Burnett roars back to lift crown; BOWLS: H J Hall Scottish Masters.

Byline: DAVID RHYS JONES

IN BOXING parlance, Mike Prosser from the Rhondda had the favourite, Scotland's superstar Darren Burnett, on the ropes in the final of the H J Hall Scottish Masters at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall yesterday.

The burly taxman was in demanding form as he denied Burnett, a 25-year-old police officer from Arbroath, any leeway for the first six ends - but the Scot fought back to win 5-7, 13-3 and then 2-0 in the decding tie-break.

Opening with a double, Prosser added five successive singles to lead 7-0, and the perplexed Burnett must have been wondering if he was ever going to trouble the scorers.

"I was playing well, but Mike was magnificent, " said Burnett, who showed his class by fighting back to make the score respectable in the first set, then sweeping to an easy win in the second set.

With the momentum behind him, Burnett was able to win the first two ends of the new-style three-ends tie-break, but the Welsh champion received a well-deserved ovation from the Scottish crowd in the Kelvin Hall.

During those first six ends Prosser played several delicate draw shots when the chips were down, and was equally effective with his heavy artillery, but the game slipped away from him in the second half and with it, ultimately, his title challenge.

Julie Forrest, a classy 33-year-old from Hawick, added the women's Masters title to the Scottish national indoor title she won last Monday when she beat Cheryl Northall, a 23-year-old from Devon in straight sets, 10-2, 7-5.

H J Hall Scottish Masters finals Kelvin Hall, Glasgow Men: D Burnett (Scotland) bt M Prosser (Wales) 5-7, 13-3, 2-0 (tiebreak).

Women: J Forrest (Scotland) bt C Northall (England) 10-2, 7-5.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 8, 2001
Words:286
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