19:32 - 10th November, 2012
SCOTLAND'S Paul Foster produced an outstanding record-breaking performance to regain The Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish International Open title in Perth. The world number two maintained his 100 per cent record in World Bowls Tour singles finals when he claimed a record eighth title, defeating England's world number 16 Nicky Brett 11-5, 9-7.
The 39-year-old from Troon, the winner here in 2009, was at his brilliant best, answering all the questions Brett posed with his drawing bowls in the opening set with some stunning conversion shots, and then commanded the head in the second, forcing the 36-year-old Peterborough plumber to play attacking bowls without the same degree of success.
18:10 - 8th November, 2012
ENGLAND'S Robert Paxton remains on course to be the first player to successfully defend The Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish International Open. The 34-year-old world number ten from Exeter reached a third consecutive semi-final in this event at Perth with a remarkable 10-1, 8-9, 2-1 over Scotland's Alex Marshall.
Paxton now faces fellow countryman Nicky Brett, and with home favourites Darren Burnett and Paul Foster meeting in the other semi-final, it guarantees an England v Scotland battle in Saturday's final. When Paxton stormed through the first set 10-1 and led 6-0 in the second it looked as though world number 13 Marshall, record five-time winner of the World indoor singles, would be going out with a whimper.
But despite managing only one shot in the first 11 ends of the match, Marshall showed great character and determination, and no little skill, in forcing his way back into contention, scoring eight shots in the space of three ends and force the match into overtime with a 9-8 win. However, Marshall was unable to complete one of the most remarkable comebacks in World Bowls Tour history, with Paxton taking the tie-break honours 2-1.
Scotland's Paul Foster had to dig deep into his powers of recovery to topple England's Mervyn King 2-1 in a tie-break after a stunning exhibition of bowls, where shots were more often than not decided by fractions of an inch. Any lesser player than Foster might well have capitulated under the constant pressure applied by 2010 champion King, especially in the opening set, where his pinpoint drawing accuracy laid the foundations for an 11-2 victory.
But Foster, the 2009 title winner here, immediately wiped that from his memory bank, and gradually forced his way back into the match, applying pressure himself that led to a crucial three count when just one shot ahead at 4-3 in the second, and a further single meant an 8-3 win and a tie-break, which the 'Troon Tornado' edged 2-1, King just failing with the last bowl of the match to snatch the spoils.
As Foster admitted afterwards: “Mervyn was totally unbeatable in the first set and I just had to hang in there and I had to play some big bowls in the second to force a tie-break.” A disappointed King added: “I don't think I could have played any better than I did in the first set, but Paul upped his game in the second.”
The giant-killing run of world number 45 Robert Chisholm came to an end when he was beaten 5-9, 11-6, 2-0 by Scotland's Darren Burnett. Chisholm, the former England international now playing for Wales, had beaten fellow countryman Robert Weale and world number one Greg Harlow to reach the last eight, but Burnett, ranked four in the world, proved one hurdle too far.
Swansea-based Chisholm, winner of the Welsh International Open in 2009, took the opening set 9-5 against the Tayside police officer, but at 6-6 in the second, Burnett, bidding to win this title for the first time since 2001, collected five shots over the last two ends to win it 11-6, and with that momentum behind him took the tie-break 2-0.
England's world number 16 Nicky Brett has kept alive his hopes of winning a first World Bowls Tour title. The 38-year-old plumber from Peterborough reached his second semi-final by defeating fellow England international Mark Royal, the world number seven, 7-7, 7-5.
Brett, who had lost in the opening round on his previous three visits to Perth, let slip a 6-3 lead in a drawn first set, but after dropping a single on the opening end of the second, he won the next five ends to take a commanding 7-1 lead which he never looked likely to surrender despite the battling qualities of the Suffolk left-hander.
Paul Foster (Scotland) bt Mervyn King (England) 2-11, 8-3, 2-1.
Nicky Brett (England) bt Mark Royal (England) 7-7, 7-5.
Darren Burnett (Scotland) bt Robert Chisholm (Wales) 5-9, 11-6, 2-0.
Robert Paxton (England) bt Alex Marshall (Scotland) 10-1, 8-9, 2-1.
Paul Foster (Scotland) v Darren Burnett (Scotland).
Nicky Brett (England) v Rbbert Paxton (England).
21:07 - 7th November, 2012
UNSEEDED Robert Chisholm, the world number 45 from Wales, caused a major upset at The Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish International in Perth when he toppled world number one Greg Harlow in the second round.
Chisholm, who claimed a quarter-final place with a 8-4, 9-7, is by no means a 'rookie' at this level, having won the Welsh International Open three years ago when playing under the flag of England. Harlow, the 2008 winner here and beaten finalist last year, found himself 5-0 down in the opening set and Chisholm, who ousted Welsh star Robert Weale in the first round, never let him off the hook.
It was the other way round in the second with Harlow rushing into a 5-1 lead, only on this occasion Chisholm recovered to square matters at 5-5 and went on to claim one of the best results of his career to set up a quarter-final clash with Scotland's Darren Burnett.
England's Robert Paxton has kept his hopes alive of retaining title in .... but only just. His second round clash with Scotland's world number nine Stewart Anderson went right down to the wire, with the 34-year-old defending champion winning 2-1 in the tie-break.
Anderson, runner-up here in 2010, took the opening set 8-3 and gave Paxton a real fright in the second when he battled back from 10-4 down to lose only by one shot, 10-9. However, Paxton, the one new face in the world's top 16 this season, underlined his determination to retain the crown by edging the tie-break to set up a quarter-final clash with Scotland's Alex Marshall.
There was also a dramatic conclusion to the clash between England's Mervyn King, the 2010 champion, and Wales' Jason Greenslade.
Greenslade, runner-up in this year's world indoor singles, dominated the early exchanges as he took the opening 8-6, but lost his way a little in the second, which King exploited to the full to force a tie-break, winning 8-5, aided by a 'full house' count of four. With King off target with three running bowls on the last end of the tie-break, he calmly played a weighted bowl of the match to leave Greenslade, the 2004 winner here, totally bemused and frustrated.
Scotland's world number two Paul Foster was given a tough examination by the unseeded Tim Stone, from Norwich, before claiming a quarter-final place with a 7-5, 9-4 victory. Foster, who won this title in 2009, had to recover from 4-2 down in the opening set, and it was only over the closing ends of the second that he made his experience count against the world number 19, who once again showed he has the potential to be a force to be reckoned with at this level.
Robert Paxton (England) bt Stewart Anderson (Scotland) 3-8, 10-9, 2-1.
Mervyn King (England) bt Jason Greenslade (Wales) 6-8, 8-5, 2-1.
Paul Foster (Scotland) bt Tim Stone (England) 7-5, 9-4.
Robert Chisholm (Wales) bt Greg Harlow (England) 8-4, 9-7.
Mervyn King (England) v Paul Foster (Scotland)
Mark Royal (England) v Nicky Brett (England)
Darren Burnett Scotland) v Robert Chisholm (Wales)
Robert Paxton (England) v Alex Marshall (Scotland)
Issued on behalf of the World Bowls Tour by Melvyn Beck
17:21 - 16th October, 2012
As the days , hours, minutes and seconds go by to the start of The Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish International Open 2012 go by the players are to be faced with something new this season. WBT will be introducing the ‘Shotclock’ to all matches played at this years event – players will get 30 seconds only in which to play their bowl from the moment their opponents bowl comes to a stop on the rink.
This timing will mean that players will not have enough time to actually visit the head of bowls and then get back to play their bowl, players will have to use their keen judgement and expertise in questions in order to play the right shot,
12:07 - 11th October, 2012
The first WBT ranking event of the new 2012/13 season, The co-operative funeralcare Scottish International Open will get underway at Dewars Centre in Perth on Saturday 3 November and reaches its final the following Saturday.
The established WBT event features all of the top 16 indoor bowlers in the world, joined by qualifiers from the UK, Australia, South Africa, USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Israel. There will be live coverage of the championship on BBC TV Scotland from Monday (5 November).