Champ King is ready to take on the world

David ThorpeGallow bowls star Mervyn King launches the defence of his WBT Co-operative Funeralcare World Matchplay title at the Ponds Forge arena in Sheffield today when he takes on his England colleague Ian Bond.David Thorpe

Gallow bowls star Mervyn King launches the defence of his WBT Co-operative Funeralcare World Matchplay title at the Ponds Forge arena in Sheffield today when he takes on his England colleague Ian Bond.

Victory over the man they call the Devon Destroyer would set King up for a semi-final encounter with five-times world champion Alex 'Tattie' Marshall - or Suffolk neighbour Mark Royal, who is ranked three in the world.

'Winning the title last year was just fabulous,' said King.

'It's a special tournament for the top eight in the world, and I regard myself as lucky to be part of it - but I'll be giving it my best shot to hold on to the title.'


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It has been a hard season for King, who has attended all the build-up sessions for the Commonwealth Games, and has also been commuting to Bristol on a regular basis to compete in the groundbreaking Bowls Super8serieS.

Although he won a couple of stages, the self-employed pest controller and estate manager narrowly failed to qualify for the Champion of Champions play-downs that are scheduled for next Monday.

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King's prot�g�e Jamie Chestney has also shone at Bristol in an event that has been transmitted worldwide on the internet by the online betting firm, bwin.com, but he, too, was pipped to the post by star quartet David Gourlay, Greg Harlow, Simon Skelton and Mark Royal.

t WBT Co-operative Funeralcare World Match Play at Ponds Forge (Sheffield) - Draw for quarter finals (seeded positions in brackets): (1) Mervyn King (England) v (8) Ian Bond (England); (4) Mark Royal (England) v (5) Alex Marshall (Scotland); (3) Greg Harlow (England) v (6) Simon Skelton (England); (2) Paul Foster (Scotland) v (7) Jason Greenslade (Wales).

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