Royal eyes Welsh title again after world loss

STOWMARKET bowler Mark Royal will be hoping lightning can strike twice as he aims to put last week’s disappointing early exit from the Fred Olsen Cruiselines World Indoor Bowls Championships behind him by defending his Co-operative Funeralcare Welsh Grand Prix title tomorrow.

Royal again fell short of getting his hands on the most sought after prize in his sport after crashing out in the second round following a 10-7, 5-11, 2-1 defeat to Welshman Jason Greenslade.

However, Royal may take solace from the fact that last year he followed up an early exit from the World Indoor Championships, going out in the first round, before going on to lift the Welsh Grand Prix title just a week later.

The current world number four admitted it was tough to get over his elimination last week but believes he is now ready to go to Llanelli and recreate his Welsh success of last year.

“It was extremely disappointing to go out in the second round and what made it worse was that Jason got all the way to the final , which could have been me,” he said. “It was very hard to get over the disappointment of last week, going out of the competition so early, but I think I am over that now and fully concentrated on the grand prix.

“There will be added pressure on me being the reigning champion but that has not got to me yet.

“I have won the title twice before in the past and the tournament has always been a good place for me so it gives me confidence going there to try and retain my title.”

Before tomorrow’s competition gets under way, Royal will be in action at Hayling Island, Portsmouth, today as he takes on 15 other competitors at a champions of champions’ tournament and he is fully aware a good performance will put him in good condition to go on and retain his grand prix crown.

“Hopefully I can give a good performance at the champions of champions’ tournament and go into in the grand prix in good form,” he added.

“That will give me confidence ahead of my round match with Greg Bingham to hopefully going on to retain my title.”