ROB Paxton was critical of some sections of the large Potters crowd after losing to Mark Dawes in a high-quality World Indoor Championships singles final at the Hopton-on-Leisure resort, writes Dominic Picksley.

The Ilminster Bowling Club member, who was also runner-up two years ago, was put off his stride several times throughout the match, which he lost 7-8 8-6 0-2, but was gracious enough to also admit the best man won.

After a razzmatazz build-up, which featured former EastEnders star Shaun Williamson, both players started well and there was nothing to separate the two by the midway stage of the first set.

Dawes always looked in control, but he could never quite shake Paxton off, with his Taunton-based rival actually moving ahead on end eight, but Dawes then responded with a double on the last end to clinch the first set.

The next set went to and fro, but with two ends to play Dawes held a one-shot lead, only for Paxton to pull out some big drives and turn the deficit into a two-shot win, triggering the three-end lottery.

A couple of minutes of respite seemed to galvanise Dawes, as he delivered some pressure bowls to take the first end, before lying shot on the second.

Paxton, who was also troubled by a knee problem, fired and took the red bowl out, but Dawes responded in kind and his opponent had no answer, giving Dawes the title and seeing Paxton finish as runner-up once more.

Paxton said afterwards: “Unfortunately there was a section of the crowd out there who were non-stop coughing, chatting and moving throughout the game.

“It didn’t just happen to me, it happened to Mark as well in the first set.

"On the final end, halfway through my delivery, there was a complete fake cough but, take nothing away from Mark, he deserved to win the game and the whole thing without a shadow of a doubt.

“The best bit is, as I was about to come up the stairs afterwards, a man who coughed, as well as putting me off earlier in the match, asked me for a signed shirt and apologised."

He added: “But it’s been a great tournament.

"I have scraped through some games and played well against Wayne Willgress, but unfortunately I didn’t find my first two bowls against Mark and he was excellent.

"He didn’t just out-bowl me, he pulled my trousers down and ran round the green with them.

"He’s a worthy champion.”