So the players lined up for the second and final Singles squad know that they have to average over 231 if they want to emerge number one seed for tomorrow’s play-offs for medals. The current fourth place is a 214 average.
Sergi Montanya from tiny Catalonia heads the second squad’s scores with 255, three pins ahead of Lithuania’s Lukas Pereckas, who started with six strikes, had a six-split, three more strikes before a final spare. Had it been a strike instead of that split in the seventh frame he might have posted the championships’ hgh game which currently stands at 277 from Norway’s Mathias Reinertsen.
A 246 from Belgium’s Lars Wouters holds third place and a 237 tie between Thomas Moeller Petersen of Greece and Joshua Schuurman of The Netherlands vie for fourth place.
Strange how all four Dutch boys have first names beginning with ‘J’.
Now we have a new leading trio with 486 the leading score after two games.
Christopher Sloan from Ireland is the pacesetter, rolling a handsome 253 second game to hold a 32 point buffer over second placed Englishman Ben Howson-Johnstone, 239/454. Ido Sharat from Israel puts his foot in the door to hold third, 245/452, whilst Pereckas slips from second to fourth, 194/446.
462 is the target to top the squad one score of 1387 and only Sloan is currently on course to do that.
Halfway through the final squad now and we have a new high individual game as Finland’s Niko Kurppa bowls a 278, raising the ante by a single pin.
However, that was not enough to take over the squad lead as Israeli Sharet improves from third to top with 226/678, Sloan slipping to second, 189/675. Pereckas maintains his place in the leading quartet, 226/672 and newcomer to the frame is Oyvin Kulseng of Norway, 266/662.
Kurppa’s 278 brings him to fifth place on 658.
Now Kulseng takes over as the fourth game draws to a close, shooting 245 for a 907 series, the only player to surpass 900 over four in this squad. Talpa had 943 at this stage in squad one.
Sloan holds second, 220/895, and Sharet takes over from Pereckas in third, 203/881. A new fourth place for Scott Connelly of Scotland.
Talpa now looks pretty safe to be number one seed but the current top three look good to take spots two to four.
The penultimate game saw Kulseng clear of the chasing pack after a 241/1148 score brings him within seven points of meeting the target set by Talpa, but the Norwegian has to bowl a 240 in his final game to grab that number one seed spot.
Scotland’s Connelly graduates from fourth to second after 226/1100 and it is a welcome back to Pereckas into third, 227/1099. Sloan downgrades to fourth place, 199/1094.
All four are above the fourth place set in squad one, an average of 214.
Kulseng’s bid to be number one dropped well short of the target as he had a miserable 177 sixth game and that dropped him down to fourth place in the overall singles’ scores. Bad news but also good news because he does qualify for tomorrow’s play-offs but as fouth seed has to face number one seed Marek Talpa, perhaps the surprise leader of the event. Talpa hails from Olomouc in the Czech Republic.
Perhaps not quite so much of a surprise is the second place finish of Russian Alexander Minenko. He came down the home straight with a 248 and that bumped him up to 1340.
Dutchman Jeroen van Geel booked his place in the final foursome with a 235 finish so he will be up against Minenko in the semi-finals tomorrow
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