Fakenham bowler Mervyn King reaches semi-finals of Welsh Open

Revenge was sweet for Norfolk's Mervyn King in Llanelli yesterday, when he defeated Scotland's Wayne Hogg 9-7 5-10 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the Co-operative Funeralcare WBT Welsh Grand Prix.

Less than three weeks ago, Hogg, a 31-year-old bank manager, had produced the first major shock of the world indoor singles championship at Potters Leisure Resort by beating the man from Fakenham.

'That first round defeat hurt,' said King, 'So it was nice to get an early chance to put the record straight. But Wayne is a great player and I knew it would not be easy.'

Hogg, who started brilliantly, led 7-3 after six ends before King struck back with three successive doubles to take the set. King was doing well when he dropped a damaging full house on the fifth end of the second set to trail 3-6, and never recovered, the lapse costing him the set.

But, after Hogg had opened confidently in the tiebreak, the Gallow star turned on the heat to win two successive ends. He will face Scotland's David Gourlay in today's semi finals.

'It was a great game, and one I was relieved to win,' said King. 'If I can maintain my form I will be in with a chance, but David is always a hard man to beat.'

Gourlay dashed local hopes when he edged through with a 10-6 9-9 win over Welsh legend John Price, while world number one Paul Foster defeated his fellow Scot Alex Marshall 9-3 11-5.

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