Last match of the afternoon in the International Arena was the third quarter final of the ‘Just’ 2020 World Indoor Open Singles for one of the two remaining places in tomorrow’s semi finals. Two players who have been outstanding all week stood ready to come onto the portable rink to do battle in from of TV Camera’s and a packed audiorium. They were World No. 14, Mark Royal and former World Indoor Champion, World No 6 Nick Brett.
Into the first they started and what a start, it is impossible to put into words just how well they were playing between them, it was impossible to split them, though Royal was probably playing that bit better than Brett but by end six it was 5 all. Royal was just edging out Brett with sensational bowls taking a massive single in end seven and then a great further two in end eight. End nine and for a moment it looked as Brett might just get a treble to level the set but Royal was having none of it and Brett only managed to get two on the last end. First set to Royal 8,7.
Second set and yet again it was Royal that was just outstripping Brett with superb bowls and by end four it was 3,1 to Royal. But then Brett seemed to find an upper gear as he dug in deep, no matter what Royal did it was Brett this time that just edged him and Brett went on to take three singles and a double in the next four ends to take a 3,6 lead. This time it was Royal that dug deep, Brett missed the draw and Royal took full advantage and piled in the shots to lie two, Brett had no reply and Royal had last bowl to draw in for three to tie the set and win the match – he put on a tad too much weight and just passed – only two shots 5,6 and into a tie break.
First end of the tie break went to Brett after a tussle of shots, second end Royal took it in great style – down to the wire and the third end was high drama swooping between each player but in the end it was Brett with another of his sensational magical shots out of nowhere that took the third end for the match and a place in the semi finals tomorrow.