Scotland’s Paul Foster MBE and Alex Marshall MBE - four-time winners of the World Indoor Bowls Pairs title with each other, are quietly eyeing up for that illusive fifth trophy.
They won the title three times in a row between 2011 and 2013 with their last success in 2019 against Nicky Brett and Greg Harlow and earlier today, they had to draw on all of their experience to overcome the challenge presented by the new partnership of Sean Mawdsley from Perth in Western Australia – who was making his debut in a WBT event and seasoned campaigner Neil Furman from Laguna Beach in California.
The Scots didn’t do anything wrong in the opening set, but the Aussie/USA combo held the upper hand with narrow 6-5 lead after six ends.
However, skill and determination saw Foster and Marshall reel in six shots over the remaining three ends to close out the set at 11-6.
It was a similar scenario in the second, with both teams winning two of the first four end apiece and the scoreline showing marginally 4-3 in favour of the Scots.
Once again though the experienced Scots did what they had to do to close out the match, scoring a treble followed by three singles to wrap up a 10-3 and a straight sets victory.
Their quarter final opponents tomorrow (Monday 9th January 2.00pm) will be another ‘unknow’ quantity in partnership terms. Jason Greenslade – now flying the Guernsey banner – a winner of this title in 2017 with Les Gillett, has joined forces with Scotland’s Mike Stepney this season.
Day 3 Match 3 (8th January)
RESULT Imagine Cruising UK World Indoor Bowls Pairs Championship
Paul Foster MBE & Alex Marshall MBE (Scot) bt Neil Furman (USA) & Sean Mawdsley (Aus) 11-6, 10-3;