Royal reigns supreme at Yarmouth

World indoor number four Mark Royal and his partner Carl Riches won the Palace Bingo men's pairs title at Great Yarmouth Bowls Festival yesterday.

In front of a large crowd the Suffolk pair saw off Norfolk rivals Mark Turner and Trevor Jermy 27-15 in the final.

The semi-finals brought together Royal and Riches, who was subbing for Tony Dunton of Acle, and Justin Sims and Alfie Chambers from the Borough of Eye club in Suffolk.

In a closely fought game, Royal and Riches, from the Rookery Club, got through to the final by the margin of one shot, winning 15-14.

The other semi-final saw County Arts Norwich pair of Turner and Jermy, regular finalists at this event, take on Timmy Cox of North Walsham and Terry Gibson of Dilham.

The County Arts pair started off the stronger, winning four of the first five ends, but their opponents dug in and at 17 ends were only one shot down. But thanks to a run of four ends on the trot the Norwich pair ended up winning 22-16.

In the final the Suffolk pair started much the stronger, with lead Riches providing a strong platform for his skip Royal, a regular England International, and after after six ends they were leading 9-1. The Norwich pair rallied midway through the game to reduce the deficit to just three shots but the Rookery pair came out on top, eventually winning 27-15.

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The Astro Communications Under 25s open singles final was a family affair, with brothers Jake and Wayne Willgress, both from Norfolk Bowling Club, pitting their wits against each other for the right to be named champion.

Younger brother Jake was looking to win this event for the third time in four years, while Wayne, an England Junior International, was looking to add his name to the trophy for the first time.

At 10 ends it was a fairly even encounter, with Jake leading 10-8. He then stretched that lead to 15-12 on 15 ends before seeing the game out with a run of four winning ends to eventually win 21-12 to become champion once again.

Earlier in the day The U25s continued at the quarter-final stage with a high class field.

Jake Willgress beat Daniel Seabourne (Acle) 21-15, Max Harrison (Downham Market) beat Mark Flatman (Wymondham Dell) 21-12, Tom Segolo (County Arts) won 21-4 against Anthony Annison (Martham) and Wayne Willgress beat Kirsty Clarke, this year's ladies singles champion, 21-6.

In the semi-finals Wayne Willgress went into an early lead against his younger opponent Segolo and at 10 ends was 14-2 ahead. He then stretched that lead to 19-4 at 14 ends and went on to record a 21-8 victory against a player who is sure to feature in future finals of this event.

The remaining semi-final between Harrison and Jake Willgress (NBC) was also one-sided, with Jake coming out on top 21 shots to 9.

The tournament resumes tomorrow with the Nottingham Bowls Shop Men's Triples and Bon Marche Ladies Pairs. Tony Seabourne