First-round exit for Chestney
Mervyn King's Gallow clubmate Jamie Chestney, so keen to establish himself in the World Bowls Tour top 16, was disappointed to lose in the first round of the world indoor singles championship at Potters Leisure Resort in Hopton on Wednesday.
Having lost his chance to win the first set, Chestney was set back on his heels when Stowmarket's Mark Royal, ranked number three in the world, took control in the second set and powered to a 5-5, 13-0 victory.
'I've never seen him play so well,' said the 24-year-old Chestney, 'Mark was unbelievable. He nailed the jack every time, and put me under a lot of pressure.'
Chestney felt particularly disappointed for his loyal band of supporters, who were hoping that he could become the third Norfolk play to make it into the last 16 of their world event.
'I felt I played really well,' he added. 'Indeed, I've played a lot worse and won, but Mark just didn't let me into the game in the second set.'
Asked if he had ever played any better, Royal, wearing a huge grin, said: 'I suppose I've played that well before, but not very often!'
Referring to the first set, Royal added: 'It was a great set, with lots happening in it, and shots were hard to come by – Jamie had a chance of drawing a second shot to win the first set, but I think a draw was a fair result.'
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If Royal's opening deliveries had been a cause for concern in the first set, he put that right in the second, nailing the jack with unerring consistency, and the set was all over in six ends.
'I was all set to play another end, when Mike Davies (the WBT match official) pointed out that I was out of reach, and that Jamie could not catch me,' added Royal. 'How amazing is that? – a six-end set!'
With a place in the quarter finals at stake, Royal will now take on the winner of today's clash between popular Aussie Kelvin Kerkow and Nick Brett, from the City of Ely.
The strength of the City of Ely club, which also boasts the reigning world champion Greg Harlow, was underlined yesterday, when another club member, PBA qualifier Andy Ware, knocked out the number six seed Ian Bond, 6-6, 8-5.
The man they call the Devon Destroyer was denied in a close encounter, in which he was holding a match lie of three shots on the very last end.
Having scored a last-gasp single to tie the first end, Bond, who was two adrift at 5-7, crowded the jack on the last end of the second set, but Ware held his nerve and delivered an inch-perfect draw to the jack.
Meanwhile, two former champions, Alex Marshall and Andy Thomson, upheld the reputation of the seeded players by disposing of the challenge of PBA qualifiers Glenn Skipp and Richard Moses respectively.
Acle ace Tim Stone found out who he will face for a place in the quarter finals, and is looking forward to his return match with Marshall, who halted his run last year.
'That gives me an early opportunity to exact revenge,' said Stone, who will have to wait until Thursday of next week for his chance to take on the formidable five-times former winner of the title.