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Bowls hero Stone becomes a dad!

PUBLISHED: 09:21 07 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:06 03 July 2010

WITH a few hours of his wife Rebecca producing their first child, local hero Tim Stone strung together a series of impressive deliveries of his own to upset higher-ranked fellow Englishman Graham Smith in the first round of the Potters Holidays World Indoor Singles Championship, the flagship World Bowls Tour event at Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk.

WITH a few hours of his wife Rebecca producing their first child, local hero Tim Stone strung together a series of impressive deliveries of his own to upset higher-ranked fellow Englishman Graham Smith in the first round of the Potters Holidays World Indoor Singles Championship, the flagship World Bowls Tour event at Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk.

It was almost 4.00pm when Harry Stone, weighing in at 8lbs, made his long-awaited debut in the world in a Norwich hospital - and delighted Dad was due to make his 2010 world championship debut in Hopton on Sea, some 30 miles away, just three and a half hours later!

Organisers delayed the start by half an hour - and, after receiving a bouquet of flowers from the venue owner Mrs Judy Potter, Stone senior had to get down to the serious business of vying for a place in the second round of the sport's most important tournament.

Smith, the world No26 from Spalding in Lincolnshire, led throughout the first set - and took an early lead in the second. But underdog Stone, a 31-year-old from Norwich making only his second appearance in the event, soon took the upper hand and went on to win the set to force the match into a best-of-three-ends tie-break.

The battle went the full distance with Smith coming back after Stone took the first end. But, to the delight of the partisan Norfolk crowd, it was Stone that ultimately prevailed, winning 4-8, 11-8, 2-1 to set up a second round meeting with Scottish legend Alex Marshall, the record five times winner of the title.

"That one's for Harry - it's been a brilliant day," said the jubilant winner afterwards. "Now I'm looking forward to playing Alex Marshall next week for a place in the third round."

Earlier in the day, results went according to the form book as Welshman Richard Morgan, ranked 22 in the world, beat Irish qualifier Nigel Gibson 8-3, 8-9, 2-0 and Canadian Hirendra Bhartu, the world No21, defeated English qualifier Scott Whiting 2-9, 8-3, 2-0.

In two first round games in the World Pairs Championship, luck ran out for Irish qualifiers Ian McClure & Gary McCloy who, after winning two play-off matches in the tournament, went down 4-9, 11-3, 2-0 to England's third seeds Mark Royal & Simon Skelton.

Former champions Ian Bond & Andy Thomson also made a good start to their 2010 Pairs campaign: The seventh-seeded English duo, winners of the trophy in 2008, despatched South African qualifiers Craig Rimmington & Rino Lozzi 11-3, 7-5.

RESULTS:Potters Holidays World Indoor Championships, Hopton-on-Sea, Norfolk, England

World Singles Championship, 1st round

Richard Morgan (WAL) bt [Q] Nigel Gibson (IRE)8-3, 8-9, 2-0

Hirendra Bhartu (CAN) bt [Q] Scott Whiting (ENG)2-9, 8-3, 2-0

[Q] Tim Stone (ENG) bt [Q] Graham Smith (ENG)4-8, 11-8, 2-1

World Pairs Championship, 1st round:

[3] Mark Royal & Simon Skelton (ENG)

bt [Q] Ian McClure & Gary McCloy (IRE)4-9, 11-3, 2-0

[7] Ian Bond & Andy Thomson (ENG)

bt [Q] Craig Rimmington & Rino Lozzi (RSA)11-3, 7-5

Thursday (7 January) schedule:

World Singles Championship, 1st round

9.30am

[Q] Theuns Fraser (RSA) v [Q] Willie Wood, MBE (SCO)

[Q] Jamie Hanlan (SCO) v [Q] Philip Rowlands (WAL)

World Pairs Championship, 1st round:

2.00pm

[6] Jason Greenslade & Robert Weale (WAL)

V [Q] Jamie Chestney & Graham Smith (ENG)

[2] Paul Foster & Alex Marshall (SCO)

V [Q] Hirendra Bhartu & Fred Fong (CAN)

World Singles Championship, 1st round

7.30pm

[Q] Phil Bennett (NZL) v John Price (WAL)

Friday (8 January) schedule:

World Singles Championship, Play-off:

9.30am

[Q] Dee McSparran (USA) v [Q] Fred Fong (CAN)

World Pairs Championship, quarter-finals:

[3] Mark Royal & Simon Skelton (ENG)

V Greenslade & Weale or Chestney & Smith

2.00pm

[5] Billy Jackson (ENG) & David Gourlay (SCO)

V [Q] Mark Casey & Brett Wilkie (AUS)

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

V [8] Richard Morgan (WAL) & Les Gillett (ENG)

7.30pm

[7] Ian Bond & Andy Thomson (ENG)

V Foster & Marshall or Bhartu & Fong


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