SATURDAY 12th January
DAY 2 (Session 1)
It was a day of mixed emotions as the World Pairs Championships unfolded earlier today with Australia keeping their title hopes alive while defending champions the defending champions were counted out.
Australia’s Dave Rankin and Kyle McIlroy, who progressed from the Overseas Qualifier yesterday, kept their dream debut alive, causing the first major upset of the Championships when they ended the hopes of Scotland’s 2016 title holders Stewart Anderson and Darren Burnett in the 1st Round.
The Scots led 4-1 in the opening set after three ends but failed to score again as they lost 6-4. They only dropped three singles in the second, winning 7-3 to send the match into a best of three end tie break with the Aussies doing the damage 2-0 in the deciding tie break.
Posting a Facebook message, McIlroy said “We’re super stoked to have the multitudes of support from home, everyone is absolutely awesome, we can’t thank you enough. It’s awesome being here at Potters and even better to know that our extensive family from WA is with us. #keepingadreamalive”
The Aussies, from Perth in WA, now progress to a quarter final confrontation tomorrow (Sunday 13th) against Potters Ambassador Greg Harlow and his sidekick Nicky Brett who won the title back in 2014 after a 13-4, 7-7 win over Scots Paul Foster and Alex Marshall.
Also seeing their hopes of retaining the title slip from their grasp, defending champions Mark Dawes and Jamie Chestney bowed out to the vastly successful and highly experienced three time winners of this title Paul Foster and Alex Marshall 6-3, 6-6 after a tough exchange.
The Scottish duo are the first pairing to secure a semi-final berth and will continue their quest on Monday.
Earlier in the day, English qualifiers Rob and Ed Elmore from Ely pushed seeds Mark Royal and Andy Thomson all the way, but the experienced WBT duo produced the big shots when it mattered, scoring back to back singles to square the first set 4-4 and in the second once again did the damage over the closing stages, scoring a double and single to nose the verdict 6-4 and were rewarded with a place in the quarter finals tomorrow (Sunday 13th).
Royal and Thomson continue against the new partnership from the top 16 ranked players of Robert Paxton, winner of this title in 2015 with Simon Skelton, and Elgin’s Mike Stepney, a new entrant in the WBT Top 16 Ranking List and who is making his debut as a seeded player.
Mark Royal/Andy Thomson (Eng) bt Rob & Ed Elmore (Eng) 4-4, 6-4;
Dave Rankin/Kyle McIlroy (Aus) bt Stewart Anderson/Darren Burnett (Scot) 6-4, 3-7, 2-0;
Paul Foster MBE/Alex Marshall MBE (Scot) bt *HOLDERS Mark Dawes/Jamie Chestney (Eng) 6-3, 6-6;
SCHEDULE OF PLAY FOR SUNDAY 13th January
10am SINGLES QUALIFIER
Malcolm Whyte (Can) v Jordi Lo (HongKong);
Dan Le Messurier (USA) v Andy Squire (Eng);
2pm PAIRS QUARTER FINALS
PQF3 Mike Stepney (Scot)/ R Paxton (Eng) v Mark Royal/Andy Thomson (Eng);
PQF4 Greg Harlow/Nicky Brett (Eng) v Dave Rankin/Kyle McIlroy (Aus);
7.30pm SINGLES QUALIFIER
Jordi Lo (HK) v A Squire (Eng),
M Whyte (Can) v Lawrence Hurwitz (Israel):