Third open pairs title for Anderson and Burnett
It was another action packed day at the Imagine Cruising 2024 World Indoor Bowls Championships at Potters Resorts, Hopton-on-Sea, yesterday (Monday) – the big match with World Bowls Tour’s number one ranked player Paul Foster MBE against Australia superstar Aron Sherriff, the open pairs final, followed by defending champion Jamie Walker’s first game and a match featuring the youngest ever WBT qualifier. Let’s take a look at what happened with the World Bowls Tour’s Anne Dunwoodie.
ANDERSON & BURNETT WITH THEIR THIRD WORLD INDOOR PAIRS TITLE
Stewart Anderson and Darren Burnett won the all-Scotland title decider at the Imagine Cruising World Indoor Bowls Open Pairs Championships at Potters Resorts, Hopton-On-Sea, against Inverurie’s Jason Banks and Paul Foster MBE from Troon in the best of two sets of 11 ends final 8-5, 11-5.
Foster, who had played his opening World Singles match against Aussie Aron Sherriff just 90 minutes earlier with red bowls, had to change to green this time round, but he had no complaints.
The first set was tied at 3-3 and 5-5 but Burnett played a real bomb on the ninth end – two shots down on the head he managed to get a single out of it and again on the tenth racked up another single.
Playing the last and needing three shots to win the set, Foster struck the head with his last bowl and when the dust settled Anderson and Burnett’s red bowl had somehow miraculously stayed on the rink within inches of the ditch and saved their bacon – had it gone into the ditch then Banks and Foster would have scored that treble and won the set.
In the second set, Anderson and Burnett went 5-0 ahead but three counts on the trot brought Banks and Foster into the contention at 5-4, but despite some great bowling from both teams, Anderson and Burnett scored on three of the next four ends to take an 11-5 lead and therefore take the title with an end to spare.
A gallant Foster said “over the piece I think Stewart and Darren were the best pair and deserved their win”.
Anderson & Burnett now go into the record books as three time winners of this title. They won for the first time in 2016 against fellow Scots Ronnie Duncan and Colin Walker then in 2022 they denied Mark Dawes and Jamie Chestney back-to-back victories.
On their way to this title they gave an impeccable display to beat Ian Catchpole and Aaron Johnson in straight sets, but were pushed all the way in the quarter-finals by regular Irish qualifiers Mark McPeak and Stuart Bennett, getting over the finishing line in a photo finish 11-4, 5-11, 2-1.
In the semis, they once against got the better of Dawes and Chestney in a tight exchange 8-6, 9-8 to set up their tile at the title.
Anderson will be back in action tomorrow eyeing up a second title at this year’s Championships, this time in the Mixed Pairs final as the defending champion alongside Ceri Ann Glen from Wales.
He lines up against his former partner when he won the title – Julie Forrest and this time she will partner England’s Nicky Brett.
RESULT: Stewart Anderson & Darren Burnett (Scot) bt Jason Banks & Paul Foster 8-5, 11-5.
FOSTER WINS BATTLE OF THE GIANTS
Scotland’s Paul Foster MBE came out ahead of top Aussie Aron Sherriff in their much talked about first round match at the Imagine Cruising World Indoor Singles – billed as the ‘clash of the Titans’..
On both sides of the globe Media had hyped up the much-awaited confrontation between the two popular players, who, off the green, are great friends and therefore had mutual respect for each other, and their match did not disappoint.
Lasting just one-and-a-quarter hours, and in a low scoring head to head, the Scot finished as the 6-4, 8-3 winner.
Only ten shots were scored in the first set – eight of which were singles and just one double – which was scored by Foster on the third end.
On the eighth end, Foster, with shot against him, played a crucial bowl at a key moment – drawing an inch perfect shot to move 6-3 ahead to give him a cushion playing the last.
Only 11 shots were scored throughout the eight ends played in the second set, with Foster, the WBT World No 1, taking a 5-1 lead after four ends, with both players producing some incredible draw shots throughout that turned the game time and time again.
Two singles brought Sherriff back to 5-3 off the pace, but Foster closed the door over the latter stages with a double and single to put the set beyond doubt at 8-3 after eight ends.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the match but wish I had more experience of that rink. Hopefully I’d like to think I could get back soon for another opportunity. It’s a great event and there’s a tremendous field this year. Top quality players so it’s a tough gig.
“Considering that’s the first time for 20 odd years that I’ve been over here, I was pretty happy with my game and the way I played, although obviously disappointed with the result” said the popular and amicable Aussie.
RESULT: Paul Foster (Scot/2) bt Aron Sherriff (Aus) 6-4, 8-3.
DEFENDING CHAMPION OPENS WORLD SINGLES TITLE DEFENCE WITH FIRST ROUND WIN
Jamie Walker, the Imagine Cruising reigning World Indoor Singles Champion – who beat Jason Banks from Scotland to lift the title last year – carved his way into the second round when he beat Scottish qualifier Iain McLean from Blantyre in the opening round 7-4, 9-2.
It was a testing challenge for both players who, for a good percentage of the game, struggled with the pace and the lines on the portable rink.
It would be fair to say that McLean never courted lady luck, but Walker did everything right to secure his straight sets 7-4, 9-2 victory.
McLean said later: ‘It wasn’t hard luck. I wasn’t at the races. The rink was so different from what I’ve practised on for the past three days. So I’m pretty disappointed with my overall performance and the outcome to be honest”.
Walker’s second round match will be a replay of last year’s final against Scotland’s Jason Banks. They will go toe to toe at 1pm on Wednesday afternoon (17th January)
RESULT: *Holder Jamie Walker (Eng) bt Iain McLean (Scot/Q) 7-4, 9-2.
NUMBER 15 SEED MIKE STEPNEY NEGOTIATES A SAFE PASSAGE INTO THE SECOND ROUND
In the last of the first round matches in this year’s Imagine Cruising World Indoor Championship matches, Elgin’s Mike Stepney safely negotiated his way into the second round after coming through against the youngest every player in any WBT Ranking event – at just 15 years of age, Hong Kong’s Desmond Lai.
A valued member of the celebrated and a more than capable player of the Hong Kong Youth Development Squad, he will certainly have gained valuable experience from his visit to the World Indoor Championships, and this can only help pave his way towards a rewarding future both for himself and his country.
The highly experienced Mike Stepney, from Elgin in the North of Scotland, runner up to Aussie Aron Sherriff in the IIBC World Champion of Champions at Warilla last year, won the match 14-1, 14-3.
Stepney’s second round match will be against Paul Foster MBE on Thursday 18th January at 7.30pm.
RESULT: Mike Stepney (Scot/15) bt Desmond Lai (Hong Kong/Q) 14-1, 14-3.
Caption: Open pairs winners Stewart Anderson and Darren Burnett with finalists Paul Foster MBE and Jason Banks
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