Julie Forrest takes Ladies' title at Potters after winning final in straight sets
PUBLISHED: 16:40 24 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:58 24 January 2019
Scotland's Julie Forrest won the Just 2019 World Indoor Bowls Ladies' Singles after an 8-7, 9-8 victory over Guernsey's Alison Merrien at Potters Resort.
Forrest, who had reached the final with a tie-break victory over defending champion Katherine Rednall, controlled the first set before being pulled back to 7-7 heading into the final end.
A back-toucher with her second bowl gave Forrest the incentive and with it the crucial first set, with Merrien unable to displace it.
Merrien, who won the title in 2011 and beat Forrest in the semi-final that year, continued to play with the attacking nature that has brought so much success over the years.
In the sixth end of set two, a brilliant drawn four pulled her back into the game to lead 5-4.
Forrest regained the advantage at 6-5 and 8-6 however, before a perfect plant with the final bowl of the set removed Merrien’s shot bowl for her inaugural triumph on the portable rink.
Following her victory, Forrest said: “I was never going to draw it at that stage of the game – the plant was on and I just had to hope that the other bowls stayed as they were. It worked out perfect and I’m ecstatic.
“My parents have been so supportive over the years and I want to thank them for that.”
Merrien, who beat Wisbech-born Ellen Falkner 9-4, 9-3 to reach the final, added: “I was fairly pleased with how I played, but Julie was nailing the jack and kept putting me under pressure. I was disappointed not to take it to the tie-break, but that’s just the way it is.”
Earlier in the day, Mervyn King’s attempt to win a second world singles title ended at the hands of 2014 champion Darren Burnett.
Burnett secured the first set 11-4 before Norfolk ace King took an early 5-2 lead in set two. A pair of doubles gave Burnett the advantage, but King fought back to lead 7-6 with an end to play.
A close opening bowl from King widened the target and Burnett had no hesitation in driving the jack into the ditch, where the Scots’ live bowl remained shot to secure a place in the last eight.
The quarter-finals get under way at Hopton on Thursday morning, with live coverage on BBC 2 from 1pm. The final is on Sunday afternoon (2.30pm).