Aussies off to flying start

AUSTRALIAN qualifiers Brett Wilkie and Mark Casey produced the first upset on the opening day of action in the Potters Holidays World Indoor Bowls Championships despatching England's fourth seeds Greg Harlow and Nick Brett in the first round of the World Pairs Championship.

AUSTRALIAN qualifiers Brett Wilkie and Mark Casey produced the first upset on the opening day of action in the Potters Holidays World Indoor Bowls Championships despatching England's fourth seeds Greg Harlow and Nick Brett in the first round of the World Pairs Championship.

The World Championships - including the World Indoor Pairs Championship, the Ladies World Matchplay Championship, the Mixed Pairs World Matchplay Championship and the flagship World Indoor Singles Championship - is celebrating its 12th year at Potters Leisure Resort.

The premier World Bowls Tour event, reaches its climax on Sunday, January 24, features the top 24 bowlers in the world, joined by qualifiers from the UK, Australia, South Africa, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel and New Zealand.

Harlow and Brett, club-mates at the City of Ely club in Cambridgeshire, led for the first three ends. But Wilkie and Casey, making their Pairs debut at Potters, overtook the English favourites to win the opening set by a two-shot margin.


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Tied at six-all after the seventh end of the second set, the match went in favour of the outsiders as the Aussie duo clinched two successive singles to win 6-4, 8-6.

Britons Richard Morgan and Les Gillett, the eighth seeds, restored order in the other first round match in the event when they crushed New Zealand qualifiers Phil Bennett and Geoff Wilson 10-1, 11-3.

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In play-offs earlier in the day, Canadian qualifiers Hirendra Bhartu and Fred Fong beat US pair Grant Summers and Frank Souza 11-0, 7-3, while experienced Irish players Ian McClure and Gary McCloy crushed Israelis Itzek Sher and Israel Meushar 12-1, 10-2.

Tuesday (January 5) schedule:

9.30am

World Pairs Championship, play-off:

[Q] Chris Chau and Kenny So (HKG)

V [Q] Ian McClure and Gary McCloy (IRE)

World Singles Championship, 1st round

Robert Chisholm (ENG) v [Q] Jarred Breen (WAL)

2pm

[Q] Stuart Airey (ENG) v Nick Brett (ENG)

World Pairs Championship, 1st round:

[1] Mervyn King (ENG) and Kelvin Kerkow (AUS)

V [Q] Andrew Barker and Michael Stepney (SCO)

7.30pm

[5] Billy Jackson (ENG) and David Gourlay (AUS)

V [Q] John Price and David Axon (WAL)

Wednesday (January 6) schedule:

World Singles Championship, 1st round:

9.30am

[Q] Nigel Gibson (IRE) v Richard Morgan (WAL)

[Q] Scott Whiting (ENG) v Hirendra Bhartu (CAN)

World Pairs Championship, 1st round:

2pm

[3] Mark Royal and Simon Skelton (ENG)

V Chau and So or McClure & McCloy

[7] Ian Bond and Andy Thomson (ENG)

V [Q] Craig Rimmington and Rino Lozzi (RSA)

World Singles Championship, 1st round:

7.30pm

[Q] Graham Smith (ENG) v [Q] Tim Stone (ENG)

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