Friday, February 04, 2011

Bowls: A right Royal display from Mark

Welsh wonder: Mark Royal with his WBT Welsh Grand Prix trophy.
Picture: Courtesy: World Bowls Tour
Stowmarket bowler Mark Royal is the 2011 Co-operative Funeralcare Welsh Grand Prix champion.
Royal beat Scotland's David Gourlay 2-1 (6-7, 11-2, 2-0) in this afternoon's final at the City and County of Swansea Indoor Bowls Club to repeat his 2008 triumph.
Earlier, the Mid Suffolk IBC player had beaten No 1 seed and reigning champion Darren Burnett in the semi-final.
After world No 3 Royal won the opening end of the final, it was Gourlay who took the upper hand – going on to win the set by a single shot. 
But the second was all Royal as the 36-year-old left-hander punched his way through to the best-of-three-ends tie-break decider.

By now Royal was on a roll and he snatched the first two ends to claim a dramatic victory.
"I've had a fantastic season because, although I'm officially ranked as No 3 in the world, my provisional ranking had slipped to 17 by the start of the winter season," said the now two-time Welsh champion.
"Getting to the semi-finals of the world championship at Potters, and now winning the Grand Prix title in Swansea, means I have climbed the rankings, and have cemented my place in the top eight.
"I like it here in Wales. It's great to have won my second title here in four years - especially against such a great player as David Gourlay.
"I started slowly, and played a bad end to lose the first set, but dug deep and found some good form in the second set.
"On the fourth end, I played a gentle trail, moving the jack an inch or so to score three shots when David was holding shot. That filled me with confidence, and another treble on the next end put me 9-1 in front.
"David played well in the tie-break, but I was able to find the right bowls at the right time to get over the line."
Read the BBC report, here
and the World Bowls Tour version, here
and, here, how the Scotsman reported it

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