Fakenham star King survives early scare to beat Jones in singles
- Credit: Archant
Mervyn King survived a first-round scare at the Just 2019 World Indoor Bowls Championships at Potters Resort.
The Fakenham bowler, who won the singles title in 2006, gave debutant Shaun Jones little time to settle as he raced away with the first set 12-2.
Jones – who had outlined before the match that the pace of the portable rink was a lot different to anything he had played on in the past – found it difficult to settle and was limited to just the two singles.
The 31-year old played his way into the game at the start of the second set and won the opening four ends to lead 5-0.
King reduced the deficit with three singles, but a great eighth end by Jones saw him collect a treble to secure the set with an end to spare.
Both players will feel they could have improved their game in the tie-break, with neither managing to put the other under much pressure with their opening bowls.
But it is King who won through to ensure a repeat of the 2014 final against Scotland's Darren Burnett.
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The Ayrshire man defeated King on a tie-break in that final, and he relied on that same route to secure victory over compatriot Andrew Barker in the first round this year.
Barker took the first set 9-6, although the scoreline really doesn't indicate his dominance over that period.
He raced into a commanding 8-0 lead in the opening few ends with Burnett unable to settle, but the police officer showed his fighting spirit to lose only three more ends, to secure his passage into the second round for the sixth year in succession.
England's Simon Skelton ended David Gourlay's chances of that elusive second World Indoor Singles title.
Gourlay won the title in 1996 but has managed to reach only one final since then – and won't be adding to that this year.
Skelton trailed 6-2 in the early exchanges before a great finish to the set saw him snatch it 8-7.
He was never in any danger in the second set, winning the opening four ends and controlling his commanding position well.
In the second round he will face Jason Greenslade, who had to overcome a tricky encounter with South Africa's Craig Rimmington.