Whizz kid Breen upsets the odds

WELSH teenager Jarrad Breen continued his giant-killing run in the Potters Holidays World Indoor Singles Championship when he fought back from a set down to topple England's world number two Mark Royal.

WELSH teenager Jarrad Breen continued his giant-killing run in the Potters Holidays World Indoor Singles Championship when he fought back from a set down to topple England's world number two Mark Royal.

It was a day full of shocks at Potters Leisure Resort where Royal was one of four seeds, including England's former champion Mervyn King, to fail to reach the last 16.

After becoming the youngest player ever to compete in the world championships, Jarrad Breen went on to upset Welsh International Open champion Robert Chisholm to earn his place in the second round.

Royal was in command in the first set - but the 17-year-old from Mid Glamorgan raised his game in the second to earn a best-of-three-ends tie-break. Behind in the first two ends, 'Welsh Whizz Kid' Breen delivered two massive bowls on both occasions to record his shock 2-7, 7-5, 2-0 victory.

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"I don't know how I got through, to be honest," said the Rhondda youngster. "I'm quite shocked - I didn't play well, yet beat the world number two.

"I wasn't nervous at all," added Breen, who was supported in the crowd by his mother Tina, Dad Ronan, uncle Anthony Smith and nine-year-old brother Jack.

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"He drew better than me, but when it came to the big bowls, I was able to pull it off.

"I'm living in a dream," conceded Breen - described later by experienced compatriot Jason Greenslade, the world No7, as “the future of Welsh bowls.”

Royal, who began the season only a single point away from being the world's number one, was equally stunned by the outcome: "I think that's one of the best games I've ever played here - yet I lost.

"I was getting the first bowls in, and getting the blockers in. I feel shocked and numbed.

"How the hell did I lose that match!" concluded the 34-year-old from Stowmarket in Suffolk.

There was earlier teenage success when outsider Ben Twist, a 19-year-old qualifier from Australia, beat 12th seed Ian Bond just two days after the Englishman had won the World Pairs title.

Bond, the 2008 runner-up, led in both sets - but Potters newcomer Twist, clearly not overawed by the occasion, came through to win 7-5, 8-4.

"My confidence grew as the game progressed," said the 19-year-old Queenslander from Brisbane, in his first year at University studying for a business degree.

"The whole experience is very exciting - I've never played before TV cameras before, and in front of such a big audience," added Twist, who qualified to compete in the championship in his first year as a member of the Professional Bowls Association.

Bond admitted that the young Australian had played well: "If he had not been on song, I probably could have won that," said the 36-year-old from Crediton in Devon. "Winning the first set clearly boosted his confidence."

There were mixed successes for two more Australians: In the opening game of the day, Welshman Jason Greenslade became the only seed to prevail when he beat Queenslander Brett Wilkie 11-6, 6-6.

But more good news for Australia came in the day's final match when unseeded Steve Glasson, a former world outdoor champion from New South Wales, ousted local hero Mervyn King, the No9 seed from Norfolk and winner of the title in 2006, 6-5, 6-6.

"We've played each other numerous times over many years - and each time we've had a cracking game," said a despondent King. "He's a gent - and, if you've got to lose, it's easier to do so against someone like Steve.

"I'm disappointed with the result - but not with the way I played," added 44-year-old King.

After reaching the semi-finals for the past two years, it was a second round exit for 14th seed Simon Skelton who crashed out 8-3, 7-6 to unseeded Nick Brett in an all-English clash.

Brett, the 35-year-old world No20 from Peterborough who has never progressed beyond the first round before, will now face teenager Jarrad Breen for a place in the quarter-finals.

Wednesday (13 January) schedule:

World Singles Championship, 2nd round:


[8] Andy Thomson (ENG) v [Q] Robert Paxton (ENG)


[1] Billy Jackson (ENG) v Hirendra Bhartu (CAN)

[4] Paul Foster (SCO) v Richard Morgan (WAL)


[6] David Gourlay (AUS) v [Q] Gary Hutchison (SCO)

Thursday (14 January) schedule:

World Singles Championship, 2nd round:


[15] Mark McMahon (AUS) v [Q] Stewart Anderson (SCO)


[2] Alex Marshall, MBE (SCO) v [Q] Tim Stone (ENG)

[5] Greg Harlow (ENG) v [Q] Phil Rowlands (WAL)


[13] Les Gillett (ENG) v Darren Burnett (SCO)

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