DEVONIAN PAXTON IN SCOTTISH OPEN FINAL

Devon’s Robert Paxton will compete in the final of a World Bowls Tour event for the first time today at 1400.

The Exonia star continued his stunning run in the Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish International Open when he defeated defending champion Mervyn King in straight sets at Dewars Centre in Perth.

The first qualifier ever to make the Scottish final, Paxton will face fellow Englishman Greg Harlow, the former world champion from Ely.

Harlow edged out Welshman Robert Weale, the Commonwealth Games singles gold medallist, in one of the closest games on record.

Paxton has been in ominous form in Perth and reached the semi-finals without dropping a set. Top seed King, the world No5 who beat the Devonian at the same stage a year ago, led in both sets.

However, from 5-3 down in the first, and 4-1 behind in the second, the 33-year-old world No18 from Exeter took complete control of proceedings, preventing King from scoring further before closing out the game 10-5, 9-4.

At one shot down going into the eighth end of the first set, King scored a front toucher with his first bowl – but Paxton ended up by winning the end by four shots to bring the set to an early close.

Delighted Paxton said: “It’s third time lucky for me against Mervyn in semi-finals.

“But I struggled with my first couple of bowls and didn’t put him under any pressure.

“The four shots I got on the eighth end was a shock as I had fully expected Merv to get in among them.

“To be honest, I wasn’t overly pleased with the way I played but I did what I had to do to get over the line - and it was very nice to break my semi-final hoodoo.”

King had ousted Paxton’s fellow Devonian and Exonia team-mate Ian Bond in the quarter-finals.

Quarter-finals:

[Q] Robert Paxton (ENG) bt [6] Simon Skelton (ENG) 13-8, 10-4

[11] Robert Weale (WAL) bt [2] Paul Foster (SCO)    3-9, 12-8, 2-0

[1] Mervyn King (ENG) bt Ian Bond (ENG)     10-2, 8-4

[3] Greg Harlow (ENG) bt [8] David Gourlay (SCO) 3-8, 10-5, 2-0

Semi-finals:

Paxton bt King 10-5, 9-4

Harlow bt Weale          9-9, 7-7, 2-1

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