King's Potters title hopes are ended by Burnett
PUBLISHED: 21:56 26 January 2017
The line-up for today's Open Singles quarter-finals at Potters Leisure Resort was completed when David Gourlay, Les Gillett and Darren Burnett emerged as winners against Neil Furman, Alex Marshall and Norfolk's own Mervyn King respectively.
The Barcelona-based Gourlay was first through, beating Furman, a South African born American, and a perennial challenger for a place in the World Bowls Tour top 16, in straight sets - though Furman, who has been practising assiduously for more than a week after beating the seeded Jason Greenslade, started as if he meant business.
Gourlay looked troubled at 4-4 after five ends, but scored three shots on the sixth end, and went on to win the set. The pressure off, Gourlay’s class shone through, and he opened up a 7-0 lead in the second set and finished strongly to win 9-5, 13-4.
To some, Gillett’s 6-4, 8-4 win over six time world indoor singles champion Marshall may have come as a bit of a surprise, but the way Gillett played in the pairs, which he won with Greenslade on Monday, suggested he had what it took to topple ‘Tattie’.
“I regard Tattie as the best player in the world,” said Gillett. “So I prize his scalp and am chuffed to bits to get into the quarter-finals.”
Gillett revealed that he has changed his outlook and now plays the game at a slower pace.
“I watched videos of previous defeats, and came to the conclusion that I was inclined to rush my shots.
“Jason and I took our time in the pairs, and I am now doing the same in the singles.”
In the last singles match of an exciting day the 2014 champion Burnett edged home, 7-5, 6-6, against King to end the Norfolk player’s title hopes for another year.
King looked like winning the second set until, with him leading 6-4 after eight ends, the burly Scot ditched the jack with his second bowl to give him a chance to tie the set.
Burnett still had to draw two bowls close to edge of the green and, while he did so unerringly, King’s attempt to draw to save ran an inch or two too far and toppled into the ditch.