England’s Mark Dawes and Jamie Chestney dramatically claimed the first titles awarded at this year’s World Indoor Bowls Championships as they won the open pairs final in the deciding end of a tie-break set.
Dawes and Chestney were pushed all the way by compatriots Ellen Falkner and Greg Harlow, before Dawes and Chestney, both former pairs champions triumphed.
Falkner was the first woman to play in the open pairs final, and competed through the pain barrier after sustaining a shoulder injury earlier in the championships.
A tight first set was edged by Falkner and Harlow 7-6 before Dawes and Chestney bounced back to comfortably take set two 9-2.
That set up a three end match tie-break, where the scoring system changes and the set is decided by ends won rather than shots scored.
The match went the distance with Dawes and Chestney claiming victory in the decider to win by two ends to one.
Elsewhere the final match took place in round one of the open singles, with defending champion and top seed Robert Paxton of England up against compatriot Jack Bird.
A tight first set was won by Bird who kept Paxton to a single in the final end to take it 8-7.
Singles were scored in set two with Bird leading 5-1 after six ends, at which point Paxton unexpectedly left the rink.
After a short delay it was announced that Paxton had conceded the match because of personal family circumstances, handing Bird, a 20-year-old mechanic, the final second round berth in the open singles.
The line-up for the last four of the women’s singles was also confirmed today, with England’s Katherine Rednall receiving a walkover victory against Falkner, runner-up in the open pairs final earlier in the day.
After playing through the pain of a shoulder injury in the pairs final, Falkner continued to experience problems in the warm-up ahead of her clash with Rednall and conceded the match shortly before it was due to start.
Rednall will now play Devon Cooper in the semi-finals, after the Englishwoman knocked out defending ladies singles champion Julie Forrest of Scotland.
Forrest took the first set 7-3 after pulling away in the second half of the set but Cooper, a 19-year-old student studying chemistry at university, found the right ingredients and went on a run of winning five ends out of the final six to take set two 10-4.
This sent the match to a final end tie-break which Cooper won by two ends to zero to claim a place in the last four.
Action continues tomorrow at Potters Leisure Resort in Great Yarmouth, England, with another trophy up for grabs in the mixed pairs final, where Scotland’s Julie Forrest and Stewart Anderson are due to face English pairing Carla Banks and Robert Paxton.
The first three matches in the second round of the open singles are also scheduled to take place.