Norfolk star Mervyn King edged out by past champion Stewart Anderson at Potters
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Considering he had just failed to make it through to the quarter-finals of the Just Retirement WBT world indoor singles championship at Potters, Mervyn King looked surprisingly relaxed after his defeat at the hands of the 2012 champion Stewart Anderson.
'To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to the game, because I wasn't playing very well in practice,' admitted the 49-year-old estate manager from Stiffkey, near Wells. 'But I'm very pleased with the way I played, especially in the second set and in the tie-break.'
In as exciting a game as any in the tournament so far, two players whose reputation is based firmly on their ability to draw delicately to the jack forced each other into playing attacking shots, and it was his drives that enabled Anderson to record an 11-2, 3-8, 2-1 victory.
'I feel that I stole the game from him,' said Anderson, from Scotland. 'Mervyn's drawing in the second set was unbelievable, so I had no option but to hit his bowls off the jack – but he kept on drawing them back.'
Anderson was leading 5-2 after five ends in the first set when he unleashed a drive that not only hit its target, but had a result that both players agreed was 155pc. King, who held three shots, watched in dismay as the Scot removed them and clipped the jack away for a double.
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'So, after six ends, instead of it being all square at 5-5, I found myself 7-2 down,' recalled a rueful King. 'The first set was virtually all over, and I was content to keep drawing to get ready for the second set.'
And that's where the story really begins. King turned on the style, and found his best form, allowing Anderson only three singles as he powered to an 8-3 result, and took the game into a best-of-three-ends tie-break.
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At this stage, King looked the likely winner, and he took another step towards a place in the quarter-finals when he won the first end of the tie-break, drawing to within an inch of the jack after Anderson had clipped his winner off the face of it.
The Scot won the second, but was forced to fire again, and hit the jack out of bounds on the sudden death third end, only for King to draw a few inches short of the re-spotted jack.
In the end, Anderson reverted to the draw, and managed to beat King's shot, finishing behind the jack, and the Norfolk man's last attempt to redeem the situation stopped a millimetre or two short of glory.
The demise of the King was followed immediately by the arrival of the Monarch of the Green, defending champion Alex Marshall, who was subjected to no end of pressure by Blackpool's Mark Dawes. Several times In what was a truly sensational encounter, Marshall had to draw on his vast experience, but he edged through, 7-7, 7-7, 2-1 and the two gladiators received a standing ovation.
10am – Singles, second round – Connor Cinato (England) v Jamie Chestney (England)
1pm – Women's Matchplay singles final: Ellen Falkner (England) v Bex Field (England)
3pm – Singles, second round – Darren Burnett (Scotland) v Greg Harlow (England)
7.30pm – Singles, second round – Les Gillett (England) v Nick Brett (England)