Foster and Marshall to take on Harlow and Brett in World Pairs final
- Credit: Archant
Scotland's Paul Foster and Alex Marshall defeated compatriots Ronnie Duncan and Colin Walker in a nail-biter on Monday to reach the final of the Just 2019 World Indoor Bowls Pairs Championship at the Potters Resort, Hopton.
In a match of the highest standard, Foster and Marshall, who have 11 singles titles between them, secured revenge for their defeat at the same stage three years ago.
The three-time pairs champions were outplayed in the first set following an exceptional display of lead bowling by Duncan.
A 9-2 success for the underdogs set them well on their way to replicate their unexpected victory over Foster and Marshall in 2016. On that occasion, Foster and Marshall won the opening set 9-3 before eventually losing on a tie-break.
It could have been a completely different story had it not been for Marshall producing one of the best saving bowls of the Championships so far on the first end of the second set.
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Finding himself four shots down with one bowl remaining, Marshall played a perfect draw for a five-shot turnaround.
Foster and Marshall stepped up a gear and collected a vital count of three shots on the sixth end to ultimately take the second set and force a tie-break.
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The first two tie-break ends were shared, but it was Foster who gave his skip the upper-hand on the final end.
Walker's initial drive was successful but with one bowl remaining to save the game, he was just over the pace when drawing to a ditched jack which handed victory to the 2011, 2012 and 2013 champions.
They will face England's Greg Harlow and Nick Brett in next Monday's final after they beat Mark Royal and Andy Thomson. The 2014 champions raced into a 4-0 lead and although they led by three shots heading into the final end, it took a set-saving draw with Brett's final bowl to reduce the count of four shots against. Similarly they started the second set well and at 6-0 with just two ends to play, Royal and Thomson were destined for their fourth semi-final defeat. The semi-final results ensured a repeat of the 2014 final as Harlow and Brett secured a 13-4, 7-7 victory.
England's Andy Squire has come through a tough preliminary round-robin to reach the first round of the Just 2019 World Indoor Singles.
Squire, from Maldon in Essex, was joined in the preliminaries by qualifiers from Canada, Israel, Hong Kong and the USA, with a two-set match taking place between each player.
A straight sets victory over Canada's Malcolm Whyte gave Squire a perfect start, before drawing 4-8, 8-4 with USA representative Dan Le Messurier. Squire then defeated Hong Kong's Jordi Lo 6-6, 11-1 to set up a thrilling finish to the group stages.
Le Messurier just needed to match Squire's result to top the group, and a 10-2 first set victory over Lo set him on the way. However Lo raised his game to win the second set 8-3. Squire produced a dominant 15-2, 12-1 win over Israel's Lawrence Hurwitz to secure his place in the first round, where he will face 2016 champion Nick Brett on Thursday.