As the World Mixed Pairs kicked off today, our ever increasing army of armchair viewers were treated to some top quality action from all four players, with the women at the front playing some high class bowls.
Ironically though Purcell and Paxton had teamed up in 2015 to win this very title against Laura Thomas (Daniels) and Paul Foster 8-10, 9-7, 2-1, but this time round both were on opposite sides of the fence with Paxton, the reigning World Open Singles champion now partnering Carla Banks from Garioch in Scotland while Purcell, who also won this title last year alongside Nicky Brett, also had a new partner in Mervyn King.
After a tit for tat exchange, Banks and Paxton nosed the verdict in the opening set. With the scoreline tied at 6-6 player the last end Paxton sprung the jack in a tightly packed head with his first bowl and they went on the take the set 7-6.
In the second, Purcell and King opened up a 5-1, five end lead but they failed to score again as Banks and Paxton hit a purple patch, scoring a 2, 3, 2 and 1 to move through to Sunday’s semi-finals.
“Both women were immense throughout that game” enthused Paxton later. “They were rarely outside the target area and made our task considerably easier”.
“JUST” World Mixed Pairs Quarter Finals
Carla Banks (Scot) & Rob Paxton (Eng) bt Marion Purcell (Wales) & Mervyn King (Eng) 7-6, 9-5