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Foster and Marshall cruise into final

Paul Foster and Alex Marshall moved to within one victory of a fourth successive pairs title at the Just Retirement World Indoor Pairs Championship in Norfolk yesterday as they bid to equal the record set by England's Tony Allcock and David Bryant between 1989 and 1992, following previous wins in 1986 and '87, writes Anne Dunwoodie.

Their comfortable 11-5, 10-5 defeat of the new Welsh pairing of John Price and Jason Greenslade took them into Monday's final against the unseeded City of Ely clubmates Nick Brett and Greg Harlow whose match followed a similar pattern to the previous one, with Harlow always coming good on the rare occasion that Brett failed to produce, just as had Marshall. Playing together for a third year, they beat the new pairing of Paisley's Jonathan Ross and Rob Weale, the Commonwealth Games singles gold medallist, 11-2, 8-4.

Darren Burnett, the No.8 seed, begins his singles campaign today against the little-known New Zealander Bart Robertson, with a second-round tie against Harlow - he beat the Irish qualifier Gary Kelly 8-3, 8-4 - up for grabs. John Carswell, a qualifier from Ardrossan, will be bidding to produce the first upset of the event when he takes on the three-time former winner Andy Thomson, seeded fifth.

Another Scot, Steven Allan from Falkirk, secured a place in the first round proper against Jon Ross tomorrow when he won the second set of his final qualifying tie against Neil Furman of USA.

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