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Premier League Bowls Foster gets his hands on the Premier League Bowls trophy for the third time


Fantastic Foster gets hat-trick P


Scotsman Paul claims the Premier League Bowls crown for a third time in sunny Cyprus


aul Foster won the Premier League Bowls title for the third time as he edged out Mark Royal in a dramatic one-end shoot-out.


Royal won the first set of the final 5-4, but Foster claimed the second 9-5 and then won the decider 1-0 to lift the trophy and collect the £10,000 top prize. “I’m delighted with the way I’ve played throughout the tournament,” said Foster, who also won the event in 2008 and 2009.


“The final was my worst game, with some good ends but some scrappy ones, but I dug deep and am very happy to win it. “Winning it for the first time is always going to be the most special but to come back and win it for the third time is amazing, especially with the quality of the players here. “You always have butterflies


in any match but I’ve played enough finals now to know to think just about the match and not about winning the title. “Mark doesn’t show any nerves and I’ve played him so many times to know he’s a class player and if you don’t play well he will win.”


Royal, who was playing in his first overseas tournament, admitted he started to feel the pressure towards the climax of the match.


“It has been a fantastic week and I felt really relaxed throughout the game until the last two or three ends,” admitted Royal. “I produced a particularly bad end but the extra end could’ve gone either way.


“The sun was in and out and I was struggling with the sun and the shadows the whole game, but there were nerves as well.”


“Paul tends to beat me every time he plays me but he is a great player so congratulations to him.”


This was the fourth staging of the Premier League Bowls tournament, which was held at the Athena Beach Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus, for the second successive year. Six of the game’s leading players competed in a round-robin basis with the top four advancing to the next phase of the competition, although there was an extra incentive for the league winner as they advanced straight to the final.


Foster made sure he secured that berth for himself after winning two and drawing three of his five round-robin matches.


Draws with Royal, Alex Marshall and Kelvin Kerkow, coupled with wins over Robert


Weale and defending champion Mervyn King, helped Foster finish top of the group standings ahead of Royal, who managed two wins, two draws and one defeat.


Five-time World Indoor Singles champion Marshall came third, with reigning Commonwealth Games men’s singles gold-medallist Weale in fourth.


With one win, two draws and two defeats, the 2006 World Indoor Singles champion King bowed out of the


competition before the knock-out stage got underway, as did Australian ace Kerkow, who drew two and lost three of his five tussles.


Marshall and Weale met in the first play-off tie, with Marshall emerging victorious, before he lost to then succumbed to Royal in the semis.


NationwideBowler 27


PHOTO: Paul Natzyl


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