Royal eases through singles opener at world finals

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STOWMARKET bowler Mark Royal set up a second round clash with Welshman Jason Greenslade on Thursday (2.45pm) after cruising through his opening match at the Fred Olsen Cruiselines World Indoor Bowls Championships.

The world number four overcame Scottish qualifier Paul Boyd in straight sets, making a blistering start to lead 7-0 after just three ends.

Although Boyd fought back to 7-5, Royal reasserted his control and cleaned up the opening set 10-5 with three singles.

Royal was in charge from the start of the second set — leading 4-0 after two ends before going on to claim it 9-4.

Should Royal overcome Greenslade, he would face a quarter-final on Friday, January 27 (2.45pm) against Wayne Hogg or Stewart Anderson and then could go on to make a semi-final on January 28 (12.40pm) and what would be his first world singles final on Sunday, January 29 (2.30pm).

Royal partnered Andy Thomson to a semi-final loss in the World Indoor Pairs against Scots Paul Foster and Alex Marshall.

Foster ended Royal’s hopes of a first world singles final during last year’s event, also at Hopton-on-Sea.

He hopes to reach the semi-finals of the World Indoor Mixed Pairs with Rebecca Field today (3.30pm) when they face Darren Burnett and Julie Forrest.

The semi-finals of that competition take place on Sunday (3.30pm), with the final on Tuesday (1pm).