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MERRIEN & FOSTER REGAIN THE POTTERS WORLD MIXED PAIRS TITLE







Just 90 minutes after escaping with a 2-0 tie break win over Katherine Rednall in the World Open Singles and securing a place in the quarter finals, Scotland's Paul Foster was back on the blue portable rink, this time with partner Alison Merrien where they were lining up alongside Belfast's Sandra Bailie and Lancashire's Mark Dawes in the dual to lift the Potters Mixed Pairs title.


Whilst Merrien and Foster have both won this title on previous occasions, this the only Potters World title to have evaded Dawes who has two singles and two Open Pairs titles to his name after chalking up both titles last year while Bailie was delighted to make it to her first final on her debut in this event.


The Ireland/England duo got off to a flying start in the best of two sets of 11 ends, taking an early 4-0, three end lead but Merrien and Foster replied with a 2, 1 and 3 to move 6-4 ahead.

Bailie and Dawes though got the best of the remaining five ends, scoring six shots to 2, which included singles on each of the last two ends to take the set 10-8.


There was never more than two shots difference throughout the second set with the end counts changing on a regular basis and Dawes in particular in his usual 'inch perfect' draw mode. Each team scored on alternate ends with Merrien and Foster holding off a determined last end set decider to count a double and win 9-6.


That squared the match at one set all and in the ensuing tie break - which was decided by the merest of margins, the verdict went to Merrien and Foster 2-0.


"To be honest we just hung in there as Mark was doing his trademark cold draw to the jack. We just did our best to stick with them. It was small margins all the time but then again you know that's what you're going to have to deal with when Mark is involved in a game" said Foster later.


All four players can now concentrate on their singles campaigns with Foster waiting on the winner of the Mike Stepney/David Bolt match, Dawes continues the defence of his Open Singles title against local Wayne Willgress tomorrow (Wednesday 19th) while Merrien and Bailie will also be in action tomorrow against Scotland's Carla Banks and Katherine Rednall respectively.


RESULT - Alison Merrien MBE (Guer) & Paul Foster MBE (Scot) bt Sandra Bailie (Ire) & Mark Dawes (Eng) 8-10, 9-6, 2-0:


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