Late drama as Marshall and Foster claim fourth pairs title at Potters

Paul Foster (left) and Alex Marshall have won the World Pairs title for the fourth time Picture: STE

Paul Foster (left) and Alex Marshall have won the World Pairs title for the fourth time Picture: STEVE ADAMS - Credit: Archant

Paul Foster and Alex Marshall won the 2019 Just World Indoor Bowls Pairs Championship for the fourth time yesterday after defeating Greg Harlow and Nick Brett 8-6, 13-13 in a remarkable final at Potters Resort.

The Scottish partnership, who had not won since 2013, defeated the 2014 winners after an incredible bowl from Marshall to tie the second set and secure the title.

Foster and Marshall are widely regarded as the best pairing on the portable rink and it is strange that they have had to wait so long for a fourth title.

Winning four of the opening five ends of the final gave the Scots the advantage, including a count of three on the fourth end.

Brett found himself a double down with last bowl in hand and despite hitting a narrow target, the jack sprung off the side of the rink where he dropped the unfortunate treble on the re-spot.

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The English pairing put a run together of three consecutive ends but it was Foster and Marshall who took the set 8-6.

The second set was a high-scoring affair, taking just four ends to replicate the same scoreline as the first set.

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Foster really found his range, assisting in two counts of four, but Harlow and Brett responded well by collecting two trebles in the opposite direction.

A run of 10 shots in four consecutive ends gave Harlow and Brett a 13-8 lead, before they dropped a further treble on the eighth end to create a tense finish.

But it was Marshall who had the final say, turning the shot bowl away and staying with precision accuracy to tie the second set 13-13 and secure victory.

'I felt I struggled today with my performance but I'm glad I saved the best until last,' Marshall said.

'It's a great feeling to win a world championship and I've got to thank Paul for such an outstanding performance – it's one of the best ever displays that I've seen in a pairs final.'

Harlow added: 'Paul and Tattie (Marshall) played great and are deservedly the world champions.

'I thought it was a top quality game all the way through and we could have possibly even pinched both sets ourselves.'

Harlow beat Australian qualifier Brendan Egan 11-6, 9-5 in a morning singles match.

Today sees the final of the Mixed Pairs (1pm), with Helen Carman and Nick Brett taking on Ellen Falkner and Rob Paxton. The match is been screened live on BBC 2.

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