First match was between Qualifier Scott Edwards, this is the second time he has won hard fought qualifiers to get to the World stage, and England’s Mark Royal, seeded at No 13 for this event. Royal is no stranger to the World Championships and this could be a tough battle between the two players.
It was Scott Edwards that started off well, both players were having a great battle and Edwards took the first five ends with just singles. End six and this time it was Royal that outplayed Edwards to take a count of two but Edwards replaced those lost two with a two of his own in end seven. With the score standing at 2,7 to Edwards it was Royal that needed to try to outfox the wily Edwards and this he did on end eight taking a count of two. End nine left Royal looking for at least a three to tie the set but Edwards shut down the head and it was all Royal could do to hold onto another two to take the set score to 6,7 to Edwards.
Into the second set and it was a determined Royal that blitzed the first two ends taking a count of a single followed by the full house of four. End three and Edwards came right back with a treble count. The next two ends it was a single each and Royal was in end six with the score standing at 6,4. Making a determined effort to get through to a tie break it was Royal that produced the best bowls over the next three ends to take two singles and a double to get the second set 10,4.
The tie break: First end went to Royal, second end went to Edwards, still all square on the match with one end left. It was Edwards holding two shots with one bowl left to play, Royal had his last bowl to play and only had six inches at the jack to play with, he elected to draw and willed his bowl into the head and it just crept in, tickled past Edwards side bowl, rolled over and came to rest as shot bowl. Edwards took a timeout as he studied the head, went back to the mat and elected to drive. His bowl glanced off a front side bowl, just nicked the jack which just trickled sideways and backwards and finished just off a side bowl of Edwards much to the dismay of Royal. It is Edwards that progresses through to the second round next week.