Royal edged out in semi-final

MARK Royal, making his debut in the WBT Co-operative Funeralcare World Match Play championship, was denied a place in the final, when he was edged out, 6-6, 7-5, by five-times world champion Alex “Tattie” Marshall.

MARK Royal, making his debut in the WBT Co-operative Funeralcare World Match Play championship, was denied a place in the final, when he was edged out, 6-6, 7-5, by five-times world champion Alex “Tattie” Marshall.

The 33-year-old from Stowmarket, whose win in the Welsh International Open in February, propelled him up the rankings, is now number six in the world, putting him in the frame for all the WBT's top events.

In yesterday's semi-final, Royal did well to salvage a tie in the first set against Marshall, who looked poised to win the set when he led 6-2.

A single on the 7th and a double on the 8th brought Royal back into contention at 6-5, and he actually held a double - a set lie - on the last end, when Marshall reduced the count to one. Although Royal was bowling within inches of the jack, Marshall opened up a 4-0 lead in the second set, but a courageous treble from Royal stemmed the tide, leaving the Suffolk star just one shot adrift.


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With shots hard to come by, the Scot edged in front at 6-3, but Royal again kept himself in the hunt with a single, before losing the initiative on the penultimate end, when a Marshall single gave the Scot a three-shots cushion.

On the very last end, Royal was in with a chance right up to his last bowl, but his well-weighted attempt to take out Marshall's nearest bowl to tie the set and earn a tie-break was narrowly off target.

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