Suffolk star Royal the first seed to fall at Potters

Suffolk's Mark Royal is out of the World Bowls singles championship Picture: Archant

Suffolk's Mark Royal is out of the World Bowls singles championship Picture: Archant - Credit: Nick Butcher

Suffolk's Mark Royal became the first seed to fall at the Just 2019 World Indoor Bowls Singles Championship after a tie-break defeat to Scott Edwards.

Edwards got off to a flyer as he led 5-0 and 7-2, before a great ninth end from 13th seed Royal almost saw him tie the set.

The Stowmarket-based left-hander held the three shots required to level the scoreline with one bowl remaining, and although Edwards appeared to pull his bowl tighter than intended he successfully removed one of Royal's counters for a 7-6 opening set win.

The second set was a polar opposite to the first – this time Royal led 5-0 and looked on course to extend his advantage, before Edwards picked up a treble following a weighted bowl to reduce the deficit.

Royal held his nerve to take the match into a tie-break and played a perfect first end before failing with a bowl to win the match on the following end.

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But it is Edwards who will face Robert Paxton in the second round after a fortunate connection with another weighted bowl on the final end sealed his victory.

Paxton, the 2018 runner-up, made light work of qualifier Ian McIntosh with a straight-sets 8-2, 7-4 win. He raced into a 5-0 lead in the opening set with a fine display of draw bowling and never looked back.

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McIntosh picked up a single at the start of the second set, but Paxton then won four consecutive ends to regain complete control.

Les Gillett has reached the second round for the fourth consecutive year with a convincing victory over qualifier Paul Coleman.

Coleman started well, winning two of the opening three ends with a strong drawing display, but 'Razor' grew into the game and limited Coleman to only singles as he secured a 7-5 win in the opening set.

The second set started similarly with the opening two ends shared, but Gillett restricted Coleman to only the one shot in a dominant display.

Gillett played a perfect third end to collect a treble before a further double on the fifth end really gave Coleman a mountain to climb.

Gillett's performance will give him great encouragement ahead of his second round match against five-time champion Paul Foster next Tuesday.

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