Two hurdles left for Mervyn

Fakenham's Mervyn King stayed on course for a successful defence of his World Singles title at Potters yesterday - but revealed he hadn't given much thought to a second successive triumph.

Fakenham's Mervyn King stayed on course for a successful defence of his World Singles title at Potters yesterday - but revealed he hadn't given much thought to a second successive triumph.

The 41-year-old pest controller and number one seed defeated 2000 champion Robert Weale of Wales in straight sets 7-5 10-6, then insisted: "I am just taking one game at a time. That is the only way to approach this event."

King went 4-1 in front after four ends of the first set and 6-3 ahead after seven ends before holding on to win the set.

In the second set Weale led 4-3 after four ends, only for King to count three shots on both the fifth and eighth ends and take control.


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The Norfolk hero admitted: "I feel very good right now but am just taking one game at a time.

"That was the third time I have faced Robert in a World Bowls Tour ranking event this season and it was 1-1 before today.

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I knew I would have to perform well to win as he is a class act whose conversion shots are superb."

King added: "I did nothing wrong in the first set but could well have lost it. I found it difficult to get my line at times as one of the hands was holding and playing tight.

"However I stepped up a gear in the second set and managed to count with my first deliveries. Now I will go back to work on Friday and put all this to the back of my mind."

King will face the winner of this afternoon's quarter-final between number four seed David Gourlay of Australia and veteran Londoner Andy Thomson, who is seeded five, in the semi-final at 10am tomorrow morning.

Scotland's Alex Marshall MBE fought back to defeat Kelvin Kerkow after the Australian had made a whirlwind start and gone 6-0 in front after three ends.

Marshall, seeded seven, counted a maximum four shots on the fourth end followed by three singles to go 7-6 ahead before a double on the ninth and final end sealed his advantage.

In the second set the players were locked at 4-4 after five ends before Marshall edged in front and stayed ahead to secure a quarter- final place against Lincoln's Billy Jackson.

Marshall, seeking a record fourth world singles title, later claimed: "Kelvin was awesome to begin with but when I settled I was delighted with my form.

"I managed to put him under pressure and there were lots of threes and fours scored with chances for both of us. In the second set I went into overdrive and won comfortably in the end."

Australia's David Gourlay got the better of Ireland's Jonathan Ross by 14-6 4-6 2-0, but admitted it had been an "odd game."

The 40-year-old Scots-born number four seed counted a maximum four shots on the opening end of the first set and again on the sixth end to go 10-6 in front. Ross responded well to force the tie-break, only to fall just short of victory.

Gourlay conceded: "It was a strange encounter with no real pattern to it. I knew Jonathan had been playing well in practice and took the mat up the green but found it tricky. However I did play massive bowls with my third and last deliveries of the final end of the tie-break."

Looking forward to today's quarter-final clash with Andy Thomson, Gourlay joked: "We must have played each other 100 times already! Let's hope the 101st goes my way!"

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