World Indoor Bowls Championships: Bence, 71, takes holder Brett to brink

Nick Brett and Charlie Bence share a laugh after the match
Nick Brett and Charlie Bence shared a laugh after the match

Holder Nick Brett came close to a shock second-round defeat by 71-year-old Charlie Bence at the World Indoor Bowls Championships in Great Yarmouth.

The top-seeded Englishman needed a tie breaker before defeating the qualifier from Scotland 5-7 10-4 2-1.

Bence, from Blantyre, told BBC Sport: "It was great to play against the world number one.

"I enjoyed the game and did my best. It is the best I've played in a while. I thought I had him."

Brett admitted he was relieved to reach the quarter-finals after a match full of humour broadcast live on BBC television.

"Charlie was fantastic on the green," he said. "I've just had my eyes tested and he told me I'll have to do it again.

"I played some good bowls early on and he was killing me.

"I was very terrified. He played fantastic."

Scotland's Stewart Anderson, seeded nine, eased to victory over Irish qualifier Graham McKee 11-4 12-2.

McKee and Bence had both knocked out seeds in the opening round, with the former knocking out three-time champion and eighth seed Andy Thompson of England.

Bence had put paid to the chances of 16th-seeded Englishman Mark Dawes.

Jason Greenslade, the 12th seed from Wales, was also knocked out - by unseeded American Neil Furman - while Scottish 13th seed Jonathan Ross was ousted by unseeded Englishman James Rippey.

Englishman Mark Royal, the 11th seed, lost to Debbie Wilford, but the unseeded New Zealander was beaten in the next round by former champion Paul Foster, the sixth seed from Scotland.

Joining Foster in round three are English third seed Robert Paxton and former champion Greg Harlow, the fourth seed, who defeated Rippey.

Three Scottish former champions are in second-round action on Thursday, with David Gourlay, seeded five, facing Furman, Darren Burnett, seeded seven, taking on 10th-seeded Englishman Mervyn King and Alex Marshall, the second seed, facing 16th seed Les Gillett of England.

Meanwhile, the ladies' final will be between holder Ellen Falkner and Katherine Rednall after England filled all four semi-final places.

Falkner, seeking a fourth title, beat Janice Gower (Eng) 6-5 8-7, while Rednall defeated Amy Stanton.

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