Hunstanton and ex-Fakenham ace King sets up second round bowls world clash

FAKENHAM BOWLS CLUB FINALS NIGHT     

The first winner of the Mervyn King Award, presented to the club by King, went to his son, Sam, much to the surprise of his father
FAKENHAM BOWLS CLUB FINALS NIGHT The first winner of the Mervyn King Award, presented to the club by King, went to his son, Sam, much to the surprise of his father
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Mervyn King (pictured) successfully negotiated the opening round of the Just 2017 World Indoor Bowls Championships at Norfolk venue Potters Leisure Resort.

The 10th seed and Hunstanton estate manager beat fellow English player, the unseeded Janice Gower, in the Open singles in straight sets.

The former Fakenham-based ace triumphed, 10-3, 9-7 at Hopton on Sea on Sunday.

This earned the Norfolk star last night (Thursday 26) a second-round date with Scot Darren Burnett, who had beaten Paul Butler (Australia) 12-0, 11-5.

In the Pairs, King and partner David Gourlay (Scotland) defeated the Australian duo of David Holt / Des Can 9-6, 12-3; and knocked out Darren Burnett/ Stewart Anderson in a low-scoring clash 3-7, 4-5. King and Gourlay were delighted to get their first win together after a three year partnership.

The players applauded the new format with each player now using three bowls instead of two, with Gourlay enthusing: “More happens in a game with three bowls and you get a wider variety of shots and that makes it more exciting.”

But King / Gourlay lost at the semi-final stage to eventual champions Jason Greenslade / Les Gillett 8-4, 3-7, 1-2.

King and Gourlay had earlier led all the way in the opening set, winning 7-3 with a double and single finish but, in the second, Anderson was just too hot to handle, continually peppering the jack and King did well to stay with him and keep the count to a reasonable 3-0 after three ends.

A double on the fourth put King and Gourlay on the card where they opted to play a minimum length with the mat up to the pin tactic and that worked as they added a further single and double to take a 5-3 lead going into the last where a single for the Scots wasn’t good enough for them to force a best of three end tie break as they missed out 5-4.

Later Gourlay said: “Stewart was immense and Mervyn did well to stay with him and keep us interested”.

Former West Norfolk player Jamie Chestney defeated Paul Hay (Scotland) 15-1, 12-3, then beat Robert Paxton 8-6, 6-5. Chestney and Mark Dawes also reached the Pairs semi, losing to Damian Doubler and Daniel Salmon.