Kreft bows out after hard-fought contest

Otago bowler Martin Kreft fought hard before another loss at the PBA world indoor single in England at the weekend.

Kreft, from the St Clair club, took leading Scottish bowler Alex Marshall to three sets at the Potter’s Resort.

Marshall eventually claimed his quarterfinal spot with an 8-3, 8-10, 2-0 win over the Kiwi qualifier.

Marshall, who now spends most of his time in Australia, finished with a flourish in the first set.

The set was all square at 3-3 after six ends but consecutive doubles followed by a single gave the Scot the advantage.

Kreft, a Corrections officer whose former All Black father Tony died last year, got the perfect start in the second set, racking up a full house followed by a double to take a 6-0 lead.

However, Marshall stormed ahead with a two, three and three to go ahead 8-6 in what looked like an inevitable straight-sets win.

Kreft rallied to again play a procession of consistent drawing bowls, and counted singles on each of the last four ends to win the set 10-8, squaring the match at 1-1 and forcing a best-of-three-ends tiebreak.

After two inch-perfect tiebreak ends from both players, victory went to the Scot to keep him in contention for a record-extending seventh world indoor singles crown.

Kreft can still reflect on his efforts at the tournament with pride after his first-round win over England’s Mark Dawes, the first New Zealand main-draw win on the World Bowls Tour since Andrew Kelly beat Marshall in the world singles in 2018.

— Staff reporter