Fakenham’s Mervyn and Sam are Kings of the rinks after Family Pairs victory

Mervyn King and his son, Sam, who won the Family Pairs championship in Nottingham. Picture: David Rh

Mervyn King and his son, Sam, who won the Family Pairs championship in Nottingham. Picture: David Rhys Jones - Credit: Archant

Fakenham's Mervyn and Sam King are national champions after beating holders champion Wendy and Lewis King to claim the Family Pairs championship in Nottingham.

The Kings – from the Gallow Club – beat the couple from the Swale club in Sittingbourne - on a tense extra end at the National Indoor Bowls Championships.

The holders took a sensational 14-0 lead after 10 ends, and the game was as good as over, but, over the remaining eight ends, the Norfolk duo hit back to score 15 shots to their opponents' one to level the scores at 15-15.

Spectators were anticipating the Kings might throw in the towel when they trailed 0-14, but they grabbed a lifeline with a count of five shots on the 11th end, and skilfully worked their way back into the game with a 1-2-2-3-1-1 sequence, dropping just a single.

Swale were leading 15-10 after 15 ends, and holding three shots. If it had stayed that way, Gallow would probably have conceded, but Sam King played a brilliant trail with his last bowl to turn three down into three up, leaving the score at 15-13.


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The leads both played well throughout, and especially on the extra end. Wendy King delivered three touchers, but Sam King fired the jack into the ditch, and his 'toucher' sat about a foot from the jack in a virtually unbeatable position.

'It really was a brilliant career highlight for me when I got into the English junior side, but this beats that,' said Sam King, who will be 19 on Sunday. 'To win a national title is great, but to do it with my dad is really something else.'

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Earlier, both semi finals finished prematurely, the losers, in both cases accepting they had no hope of catching the Kings, and throwing in the towel after 15 ends.

Ben and Mick Sharpe, from Kingsthorpe (Northampton), led the Fakenham pair 6-3, after five ends, but the Norfolk duo stamped their authority, though it was a surprise when the Sharpes surrendered at 19-12 with three ends still to play.

Semi-finals: Wendy & Lewis King beat David & Ian Drew 17-5, Mervyn King & Sam King bt Ben & Mick Sharpe 19-12.

Final: Mervyn & Sam King beat Wendy & Lewis King 16-15 (after extra end).

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