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Shock exit sees Royal’s world final bid given further hope


Mark Royal is dreaming of making it through to his first ever World Bowls Indoor Championships final after seeing the draw open up in his favour, writes Russell Claydon.

The Stowmarket-based number 13 seed is looking to put a few miserable campaigns in his sport’s showpiece event behind him in its 40th year.

After succumbing in a thrilling semi-final of the Pairs event with Andy Thomson to world numbers one and two, Greg Harlow and Nick Brett, on Monday, the 42-year-old had been looking forward to going up against record-breaking six-time world champion Alex Marshall in the second round.

But as he comfortably overcame Australian qualifier Scott Walker at Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk 12-4, 10-5 in Wednesday’s first round, one of the biggest shock’s in the tournament’s history occurred as Marshall fell victim to New Zealand qualifier Andrew Kelly.

Royal will take on Kelly on Tuesday (7.30pm) and said: “It would be great to get to the final as I have lost three narrow semi-finals.”

n Meanwhile, Stowmarket’s Katherine Rednall begins her defence of the Ladies’ Singles crown against Julie Forrest in the quarter-final on Saturday (10am).

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