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Stow’s Royal advances into World Champs last eight


Mark Royal’s hopes of winning a first World Indoor Bowls Championships Singles title is still burning brightly after he advanced through to the quarter-finals at Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk.

The Stowmarket-based number 13 seed had already beaten Australia’s Scott Walker last week prior to facing New Zealand qualifier Andrew Kelly in the last 16 on Tuesday.

The Kiwi had caused a big shock by knocking out six-time champion Andrew Marshall in the previous round, but he was no match for Royal, who won the contest 10-4, 8-6.

The 42-year-old will now turn his attention to facing 12th seed Mark Dawes this morning (10am), with the winner securing themselves a semi-final berth.

Dawes is sure to head into the contest full of confidence, having won the Pairs title alongside Jamie Chestney on Monday.

Both semis are due to be played tomorrow, with the final set for Sunday (2pm).

Meanwhile, Royal’s fellow Stowmarket player Katherine Rednall was bidding for a joint-record third Women’s Singles title as the Free Press went to print yesterday afternoon.

The 2014 and 2017 champion, who will represent England at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, saw off challenges from Julie Forest (10-5, 8-4) and Lesley Doig S (10-4, 13-2) to reach the showpiece clash against Norwich’s Rebecca Field.

Rednall beat Field to win her first title four years ago at the age of just 18 — making her the competition’s youngest ever champion in the process.

However, there will be no Mixed Pairs crown for Rednall after she and partner Greg Harlow lost at the semi-final stage 6-5, 5-5 to the combination of Chestney and Doig.

Rednall won that title in 2016 with Darren Burnett.

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