Watch: Moray bowler Michael Stepney reaches last sixteen of World Indoor Bowls Championship singles and faces David Bolt on Tuesday night
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MORAY bowler Michael Stepney bounced back from pairs defeat to progress in the singles at the World Indoor Bowls Championships.
The Elgin stadium bowler, from Burghead, defeated England’s Ian Honnor in two sets in the opening round of the singles on Wednesday.
Stepney arrived at the championships in Norfolk last week, partnering Englishman Simon Skelton to victory in the first round of the pairs against Trevor Taylor and Stuart Airey.
A convincing 10-3 first set win was followed by a tighter 7-6 for Stepney and Skelton to defeat their English opponents.
However, the duo came unstuck in the quarter-finals on Sunday against number one seeds Mark Dawes and Jamie Chestney (England), who won 9-2, 7-4 and have marched on to Monday’s final.
Stepney moved on to the singles, where he is ranked number 14 seed, on Wednesday to take on Honnor.
He got the perfect start, opening up a 5-0 lead after three ends.
Although he only scored in two more ends of the opening set, Stepney comfortably won it 9-4.
It was closer in the second set as the scores were tied at 2-2, then again at 5-5.
The Moray man stepped up his game to ensure his opponent never got another look in.
A single, followed by a pair of twos saw the set won 10-5 and with it the match overall.
“I really got off to a cracking start,” he said after the match.
“I’m really pleased with the performance in the first set.
“There’s no easy games out there and that was pretty sticky but I’m happy to be over the line.
“It always settles the nerves when you win a first round match.”
Stepney won the Scottish singles championships late last year and said: “I’ve had a good start to the season, singles-wise it’s been pretty solid.”
A former World pairs finalist, Stepney hopes to embark on a good run in the singles but in the last 16 on Tuesday night he faces a player who has already caused a big shock in the tournament.
His opponent in England’s David Bolt, who defeated former world champion and current world number 3 Robert Paxton in his opening match.