World indoor title defence is short-lived for Chestney and Dawes
- Credit: Archant
England's Mark Dawes and Jamie Chestney suffered an agonising defeat to Scotland's Paul Foster and Alex Marshall at the Just 2019 World Indoor Bowls Championships at Potters Resort.
Seeded number one following their success 12 months ago, Dawes and Norfolk-born Chestney bypassed the first round and were automatically placed into the quarter-finals of the Open Pairs event.
Foster and Marshall, widely regarded as the best pair on the portable rink, have won the title on three occasions, but not since 2013.
The defending champions found it tough to get shots on the board against the Scottish duo and managed to win only two ends of the opening set. There was rarely an end when any bowl was outside two feet of the jack, but it was six-time singles champion Marshall who just managed to turn over more ends in his favour.
Chestney found himself in a strong position at 5-3 in the second set after four ends, but when playing a weighted bowl on the fifth end narrowly missed the target creating an uphill battle where he was unable to force a tie-break.
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Two impressive victories for Colin Walker and Ronnie Duncan ensured an all-Scottish semi-final on Monday afternoon. Walker and Duncan defeated England's Les Gillett and Wales' Jason Greenslade, who won the title in 2017, on a last-end tie-break in the opening round. They backed this up with straight sets victory over Fakenham's Mervyn King and Scotland's David Gourlay.
Australian qualifiers David Rankin and Kyle McIlroy looked in command of their quarter-final, leading 5-1 after four ends of the opening set against Greg Harlow and Nick Brett. But the City of Ely bowlers won the final three ends to take the first set 6-5, before producing a dominant display in the second set as they look to repeat their triumph of 2014.
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Suffolk's Mark Royal, leading for Anglo-Scot Andy Thomson for the seventh year, also reached the semi-final for the fourth time in their partnership.
Thomson has won the pairs title on three previous occasions, however is yet to progress to a final with Stowmarket's Royal.