Bowls: Allcock fights back from brink: Englishman's finishing flourish earns world title

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EVEN England's Tony Allcock must have wondered if the task was beyond him in the singles final at the Woolwich World Bowls Championships at Worthing yesterday, when he trailed Scotland's Richard Corsie 20-14 after 23 ends, just a shot from defeat. But, in a magnificent fightback, he picked up 11 straight shots on the next seven ends to claim an improbable 25-20 victory.

'I blew it - I had him going and couldn't finish him off,' a rueful Corsie said later. Perhaps, but all credit had to go to Allcock for sticking to the task.

Scotland, though, had ample consolation when Graham Roberts, Angus Blair, Willie Wood and Alex Marshall gave them the fours title to complete a fine championships for them. It was their third gold medal of the event.

They beat Canada's Ron Jones, David Brown, Dave Houtby and Bill Bouttger 18-15. The Scots started in fine fashion and scored on 10 of the opening 12 ends to lead 16-6. But the Canadians worked their way back into contention to trail just 17-15 before the Scots scrambled a single to tie it up.

Wales started the day hopeful, but suffered double disappointment in both the bronze medal play-offs they played in. In the singles, Will Thomas surrendered a 24-20 lead as Israel's Jef Rabkin recovered to win 25-24, while in the fours, South Africa battled to a 21-15 victory.

Allcock qualified for the final despite losing to Mark McCormick, from Zimbabwe, in his concluding section match. His nearest rival, Thomas, beat Frank Sousa, of the United States, 25-17 but Allcock scraped through with a shots differential of plus 107, ahead of Thomas's plus 101.

Allcock was never ahead in his match against the Zimbabwean, who led 12-0 after seven ends. Allcock got back to 15-all after 18 ends, and 19-all after 22 ends, but a strong finish from McCormick took him to victory.

Corsie made certain of the other final spot when he beat the Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Rob Parrella, from Australia, 25-20. Corsie opened up a 16-9 lead after 19 ends but was pegged back to 19-18 after 26 ends before Corsie went on to win 25-20.

The Scottish four finished their preliminary round on a high note, beating Hong Kong 31-15 to ensure their place in the final.