World Indoor Bowls: Robert Paxton and Simon Skelton take pairs title

Simon Skelton and Robert Paxton celebrate their pairs title
Simon Skelton and Robert Paxton came from behind to beat the Commonwealth Games champions

Robert Paxton and Simon Skelton denied Paul Foster and Alex Marshall their fourth World Indoor Bowls title after a thrilling final in Great Yarmouth.

The English pair defeated the Scots, appearing in their fourth final in five years, 5-12 15-5 2-1.

It was the second year in a row that the Commonwealth Games gold medallists have lost in the World Indoor final.

Paxton told the BBC: "It is the first final for myself and, to win at the first attempt, you can't get better."

World number one Foster and Marshall, ranked four, were in imperious form as they dominated the opening set.

But the English pair - Paxton is the world number two and his partner 15th - never lost control of the second set after scoring a three in the opening end.

Paul Foster and Alex Marshall
Paul Foster and Alex Marshall lost their second World Indoor pairs final in a row

With the Scots under pressure, Paxton and Skelton scored further threes in the fifth and eighth ends before eventually clinching it emphatically 15-5.

A superb final bowl from Marshall won the Scots the opening end of the tie break.

However, Paxton was in excellent form as he and his partner took the next two ends to secure the title.

Skelton said: "Obviously Paul is the hardest lead to play against and I was struggling a bit, but Robert played superbly well and deserves the title for the way he played."

Foster, who reached the mixed pairs final with Welsh partner Laura Daniels on Sunday, paid tribute to the winning pair.

"In the second set, they played superbly well," he said.

Marshall, who also lost to Paxton in the mixed pairs semi-finals, thought he had let down his partner.

"Credit to Simon and Robert, they played brilliantly, but I feel sorry for the big man as I did not give him much help," he said.

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