MORAY bowler Mike Stepney’s bid for world championship glory ended in tiebreak heartbreak.
The Mosstowie-based joiner exited the Just Retirement World Indoor Singles tournament on Monday, losing a sudden death decider against Welshman Robert Weale.
After losing the first set 9-2, Stepney bounced back in impressive fashion to win the second 8-3 and force a tiebreak, which Weale won 2-0.
Weale now advanced to the last 16 where he plays defending champion, Scotsman Stewart Anderson.
Stepney (32), a product of Burghead’s St Aethans Bowling Club who represents Elgin on the indoor circuit, put Moray on the map by qualifying for both the world singles and pairs events.
Partnering fellow Burghead bowler Andrew Barker in the pairs, he lost in straight sets to English pair Nicky Brett and Greg Harlow on January 11.
The quality of their opponents was highlighted on Monday when Harlow and Brett claimed the pairs title, beating Scots Paul Foster and Alex Marshall who had won the competition for the past three years.
In 2011, Stepney and Barker made their only previous appearance in the world indoor championships and went all the way to the final, where they narrowly lost to Foster and Marshall on a tiebreak.