Games silver for bowls ace King
Fakenham bowls ace Mervyn King was denied Commonwealth Games gold this week by South Africans Shaun Addinall and Gerald Baker in the men's pairs.
The Gallow Indoor Bowls Club player (pictured), who represents Hunstanton outdoors, has twice been close to the podium – in Manchester and Melbourne – but his silver medal was still tinged with disappointment.
King and partner Stuart Airey (Cumbria) lost the first set 8-7 and were 13-7 ahead entering the final end of the second set and on course to send the contest into a three-end tie-break.
However, South Africa claimed a full house of six shots with the last delivery of the final end to earn a 13-13 second-set score and secure gold.
The man from Fakenham was philosphical in defeat, saying: 'When you're six up, you should win the set. But you can drop a six any time, with the pressure.'
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Four years ago the script was similar, with King's South African rival pulling off a flukey shot to advance to the final.
'I've been so close before – but if someone had said we'd win a silver medal, we'd have taken it,' said King. 'The greens are so changeable. I've played 14 games on here and I still don't know what the bowls are going to do.
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'Given all of that, I'm really pleased but, of course, a little disappointed as well. We've had insects down our neck and up our trouser legs.
The pest controller joked: 'It's been really hard and I would have been pretty busy here, if I'd brought my gear out! I've never played in conditions like this but you need to put it out of your mind and focus.'
Scottish bowler Willie Wood has made the headlines for appearing at his eighth Games aged a spritely 72.
King, a three-time world indoor champion, is just 44 – but insists he needs time to consider another medal bid in Glasgow in four years' time.
'I don't know about 2014 – it's a long time away,' he added.
'I need to start spending some time with the family because there is so much travelling involved in bowls.
'I need to sit down and have a break first and make a decision after some consideration.'
England struck gold in the corresponding women's event as Wisbech-born Ellen Falkner and Amy Monkhouse were also taken to a tie-break – where they triumphed 5-0, against Malaysia duo HJ Ismail Nor Hashimah and Khalid Zuraini.
Having qualified for the knockout play-offs, King and Airey powered their way into the semi-finals on Sunday when they trounced the mighty Australians Mark Berghofer and Aron Sherrif, 12-4, 10-5.
England supremo John Bell said: 'When they won the Australian Open pairs title in February, we knew this pair was destined for great things.
'The Aussies didn't see the way they went.'