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Royal loses out in mixed paris final

PUBLISHED: 09:31 19 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:14 05 July 2010

WELSH-BORN Ceri Ann Davies and Scottish-born David Gourlay successfully retained their title in the Potters Holidays World Indoor Mixed Pairs Matchplay Championship when they crushed event newcomers Sarah Seymour and Mark Royal in Sunday's final of the World Bowls Tour event at Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk.

WELSH-BORN Ceri Ann Davies and Scottish-born David Gourlay successfully retained their title in the Potters Holidays World Indoor Mixed Pairs Matchplay Championship when they crushed event newcomers Sarah Seymour and Mark Royal in Sunday's final of the World Bowls Tour event at Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk.

Twelve months ago, the champions played under the Australian banner, with Gourlay based in Sydney and Davies then based in Queensland. But 30-year-old Davies, born and raised in Port Talbot, now resides in Scotland - and is also expecting her first child in three months.

The top seeds reached the final without dropping a set, while Seymour and Royal were taken to the wire in this morning's semi-final against second seeds Debbie Stavrou and Alex Marshall, the world number one from Scotland who is bidding to win a record sixth World Singles next week at Potters.

The East Anglian pair (Royal is from Stowmarket in Suffolk and Seymour from Ely in Cambridgeshire) were back for the final on the WBT's portable rink less than 90 minutes after winning their semi - and playing with green bowls after earlier using red.

Not until the fourth end did the underdogs make their mark on the scoreboard - but in-form favourites Davies & Gourlay maintained the upper hand to win the set by a nine-shot margin.

The second set was even more devastating for Seymour and Royal as the defending champions increased the pressure, ultimately celebrating their 11-2, 12-0 victory with three ends to spare!

"Certainly the score in the first set could have been much closer - Mark was unlucky," said Gourlay afterwards.

"I was really enjoying it out there today - I haven't felt like that for a long time," added the 42-year-old from Australia who was celebrating his second Potters final in seven days after finishing as runner-up in the World Pairs championship last week.

"But, make no mistake, every time you step out onto that rink, you want to win - you want to put on a show."

Ceri Ann Davies admitted that she did not know how she would fare this year, under the circumstances - and had had to adjust her delivery due to her pregnancy.

"I had a growth spurt over Christmas - half baby, half turkey - so I didn't know what to expect," said Davies. "My main feeling was that I didn't want to let David down - I wanted to play well for him.

"David was immense today," added Davies, who revealed that she felt her baby kicking during the final.

"I think he likes it," she explained.

The downcast runners-up were understandably disappointed with the outcome.

"The first six ends were crucial - everything that could go wrong did go wrong," said Royal, the world No6 who was making his debut in the Mixed Pairs event. "Sarah would get to within ten inches of the jack - than David would get a front toucher!"

Seymour, in her first appearance at Potters, added: "It's very disheartening when things start going against you. But overall I think we played well - this morning's semi-final was certainly very watchable."

Royal was also delighted to have made the final in his maiden appearance in the event. "I didn't perform very well with Greg Harlow (also a fellow East Anglian, from the City of Ely club) in the World Pairs last week, so I'm happy that I made up for it in the Mixed. I thought we played well - especially in today's semi."

RESULTS:

World Indoor Mixed Pairs Matchplay Championship

Semi-finals:

[1] Ceri Ann Davies (SCO) & David Gourlay (AUS) bt Lorraine Hitchcock (USA) & Jason Greenslade (WAL) 9-4, 10-5

Sarah Seymour & Mark Royal (ENG) bt [2] Debbie Stavrou (ENG) & Alex Marshall (SCO) 5-6, 10-5, 2-1

Final:

[1] Ceri Ann Davies (SCO) & David Gourlay (AUS) bt Sarah Seymour & Mark Royal (ENG) 11-2, 12-0

Monday (19 Jan) schedule:

Ladies World Matchplay Championship, quarter-finals

10.00am:

[1] Ceri Ann Davies (SCO) v Alison Merrien (GUE)

2.00pm:

Carol Ashby (ENG) v Claire Johnston (SCO)

Desiree Lambert (NZL) v Sarah Seymour (ENG)

7.30pm:

[2] Debbie Stavrou (ENG) v Ellen Falkner (ENG)

Tuesday (20 Jan) schedule:

10.00am

Ladies World Matchplay Championship, semi-finals:

Ceri Ann Davies or Alison Merrien v Carol Ashby or Claire Johnston

2.00pm

World Indoor Singles Championship, 3rd round:

[3] David Gourlay (AUS) v [14] Mark McMahon (AUS)

[13] Les Gillett (ENG) v [4] Jason Greenslade (WAL)

7.30pm

Ladies World Matchplay Championship, semi-finals:

Desiree Lambert or Sarah Seymour v Debbie Stavrou or Ellen Falkner


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