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Falkner and Paxton pile on the final agony as Brett misses out again

PUBLISHED: 16:42 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:18 22 January 2019

Ellen Falkner partnered Robert Paxton to the mixed pairs title at Potters	 Picture: Nick Butcher

Ellen Falkner partnered Robert Paxton to the mixed pairs title at Potters Picture: Nick Butcher

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England's Ellen Falkner and Robert Paxton won the 2019 Just World Indoor Bowls Mixed Pairs Championship yesterday after defeating Helen Carman and Nick Brett 1-15, 10-3, 2-0 in a final of two halves at Potters Resort.

It was Brett’s second final defeat after losing the Open Pairs with Greg Harlow just 24 hours earlier.

Brett continued to show why he had reached both pairs finals, though, with an ability to play a wide variety of shots to great success on the portable rink.

The first set, in particular, could be used as a highlights reel and he skipped Carman to a quite remarkable 15-1 victory over the opening eight ends.

Carman, New Zealand’s 70-year-old debutant, held her own against Falkner in the opening set, but the three-time women’s singles champion really lifted her performance in the second half of the match. Seeking her first mixed pairs title, Falkner, from Wisbech, gave Paxton a lot of assistance in set two with the heads much more preferable for the 2015 mixed pairs champion to play to.

A vital four on the fourth end after Paxton had trailed the jack to Falkner’s positional bowls gave the English pairing the lead to control the second set 10-3.

An incredible piece of fortune for Paxton gave him and Falkner the incentive in the tie-break and they duly obliged, wrapping up a 2-0 tie-break victory.

Paxton said: “That four early in the second set was crucial and gave us the confidence to push on. Tie-breaks are nip-and-tuck and often come down to slices of luck and fortunately it went for us today.”

Brett added: “Ellen and Rob are top-class players and that four really gave them the momentum. I thought we were going to nick the first tie-break end, but Rob’s hit one from the car park in for shot. We played well for the first half – 15-1 probably wasn’t a fair score but we certainly played our part in a great final.”

Norfolk-born Jamie Chestney suffered disappointment as he lost 5-12, 6-6 in the second round of the open singles to Scotland’s Stuart Anderson.

Highlights from Hopton-on-Sea today include open singles holder Mark Dawes facing Michael Stepney in round two, with Suffolk-star Katherine Rednall playing her semi-final of the women’ singles against Julie Forrest.

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