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Anderson claims second World Indoor title after beating Skelton in tie-break

PUBLISHED: 18:47 27 January 2019

Stewart Anderson after winning the Men's Final at the World Bowls Championship, Potters. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Stewart Anderson after winning the Men's Final at the World Bowls Championship, Potters. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

Scotland's Stewart Anderson won the Just 2019 World Indoor Bowls Open Singles title for the second time on Sunday after defeating England's Simon Skelton on a tie-break in the final at Potters Resort.

Simon Skelton in action during an exciting final at the Potters Resort, Hopton-on-Sea  Picture: JAMIE HONEYWOODSimon Skelton in action during an exciting final at the Potters Resort, Hopton-on-Sea Picture: JAMIE HONEYWOOD

Anderson, who hadn’t lost a set on his route to the final, required a tie-break to defeat the Nottingham man 11-5, 6-8, 2-0.

Ninth-seed Anderson started as well as he had all Championship, conceding only three ends in the opening set.

Skelton battled away, collecting a treble on the opening end of the set two, but as expected Anderson fought back.

He levelled the scores on three occasions before Skelton won the final two ends of the set to force the tie-break.

But it was Anderson who held his nerve on the tie-break, drawing to two re-spotted jacks with the final bowl of each end to regain the trophy that he first won in 2013.

Anderson said: “I had a wee bit of Lady Luck catching Simon’s bowl on both tie-break ends and fortunately it was my day today.

“Every time I thought I was holding a good head, Simon seemed to keep producing a really good running shot.”

Skelton, who was playing in his first singles final at the Hopton-on-Sea venue said, “I struggled a bit in the first set but I was happy with how I played in the second.

“The tie-break ends could have got either way and they both went down to Stewart’s last bowl. I’m pleased to get to the final, but naturally disappointed to lose.”

Former top-16 player Skelton was the first unseeded bowler to reach the final since Anderson himself in 2010, and was looking to become the first unseeded winner of the event since Norfolk’s Mervyn King in 2006.

His memorable run to the final included victories over former champions David Gourlay, Darren Burnett and an incredible tie-break victory over Nick Brett in the semi-final on Saturday.

Brett was in command, winning the opening set 9-2 and even held a 7-1 advantage in the second, before Skelton produced a stunning fightback to take the second set 8-7 and force a tie-break.

Anderson, meanwhile, secured a narrow straight sets victory over England’s Les Gillett in his semi-final encounter, coming through 8-6, 8-7.

Scotland’s John Orr won the 2019 World Indoor Bowls U25 Singles title after defeating Lincolnshire’s Jordan Philpott 10-5, 8-6 in the final at Potters Resort.

Orr, 24, from Motherwell, had booked his placed at the event at the Falkirk qualifiers towards the end of last year and reached the final with a convincing 11-2, 9-5 victory over New Zealand’s Dean Drummond.

Philpott, 21, faced Ireland’s defending champion Chloe Watson in his semi-final encounter and also secured an impressive 13-3, 7-3 straight sets victory.

Orr started the stronger of the two players in the final, winning the opening four ends to lead 6-0, and had extended his lead four ends later for a 9-2 advantage.

Philpott battled and collected a treble on end nine to keep his hopes alive but a single for Orr on the following end was enough to take the first set.

The Spalding youngster started the second set well, collecting three singles on the opening ends, and was incredibly unfortunate not to extend his advantage a short while later.

He appeared to play a perfect draw but the jack got caught on the seam of the carpet and rolled back up the rink, meaning he dropped another single.

Consecutive doubles for the Scotsman on the next two ends ensured he regained control of the contest to lead 6-3.

Philpott reduced the deficit to 6-7 on the penultimate end with a double but was unable to secure the two shots on the final end of the set to force a tie-break.

Reflecting on the final, Philpott, who was recently awarded the World Bowls Tour’s Young Player of the Year, said: “John started well and didn’t give me much of an opportunity to get into the first set.

“I played well at the beginning of the second set, but again he picked up his game and got back in front.

“I was disappointed to not take the match to a tie-break, but I had a few bad ends at the wrong time when I really needed to pick up multiple shots.

“I’m only 21, so hopefully I can qualify again and replace the runner-up trophy with the winner’s one sometime in the next few years.”

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