The anti-hero of darts, who courted controversy when accused of gamesmanship in his quarter-final victory over Adrian Lewis, did not need to resort to any dubious tactics against the Wolverhampton qualifier.
That was because the fifth seed was on tip-top form, producing some impressive scoring and a series of outstanding three-figure checkouts that never gave his opponent a chance of gaining a foothold in the match.
The 43-year-old’s superb display silenced the Circus Tavern crowd, who were mostly against him from the outset following the spat with Lewis.
Even the Peter Kay-style ‘Amarillo’ stage entrance that Manley has made his trademark was received with less enthusiasm than usual, and he stood cupping his ears as the boos rang out around him.
A 98.44 three-dart average was the Carlisle-based player’s highest of the tournament and his finishing was the most convincing aspect of his game, a 76 that wrapped up his win being completed with just one attempt at double top.
“It was one of my better performances,” said Manley, who reached his third World Championship final having lost the previous two to Phil Taylor in 1999 and 2002.
“I went into the match with a bit of anger after all the hype around the quarter-final and early on there were a couple of silly women shouting ‘miss’ when I was on a double. I thought it would get worse but I blocked them out.”
Manley was due to face either Taylor or Wayne Mardle in today’s final.
“I know Taylor wants me and I think I’m ready for him. But I don’t really care who I meet because I’ve already got £50,000 in the bank.”