Stowmarket's Katherine Rednall puts in dominant display against Alison Merrien to win World Indoor Bowls Championship Ladies' Singles title for record fourth time
Stowmarket-raised Katherine Rednall made World Indoor Bowls Championship history this afternoon by becoming the first player to win the Ladies' Singles title for a fourth time.
The Suffolk bowling ace, who was beaten in the final 12 months ago, headed into today's showpiece encounter at Potters Leisure Resort in Hopton-on-Sea against Alison Merrien as one of three players – along with Ellen Falkner and Carol Ashby – to have clinched the top prize on a hat-trick of occasions.
But now the 26-year-old stands alone at the top of the record books thanks to a 2-0 (13-2, 14-2) victory over Guernsey's Merrien.
It was a relentless first-set performance from the Ipswich & District and Felixstowe & Suffolk Bowls Club member, who won the opening seven ends for a comprehensive 13-0 lead.
Included within her haul was back-to-back trebles, while she also picked up a couple of twos.
Merrien responded by winning ends eight and nine with a point from each, but the damage had long been done as Rednall took the set by a comfortable 13-2 margin.
And Rednall's domination continued during the first two ends of set two, from which she collected four points without reply despite her opponent being on target with a couple of late drives.
There was signs in ends three and four that Merrien had started to find the right length after she cut the deficit to 4-2.
But she left the door ajar for Rednall on the penultimate set of bowls in end five and she duly accepted the gift to take a point.
From there it was one-way traffic as the Stowmarket ace went on to capture the next nine points across the next four ends to clinch her place in the history books to take the set 14-2 and thus the championship 2-0.
On her post-match interview on the live BBC broadcast, she said: "It is not about the number for me, every one is special.
"You come here every year to get the job done and I think the last few years I have just not got over the line so it is nice to get it back."
She first won the prize in 2014, becoming the youngest person ever to do so at the age of 18.
Further success followed in 2017 and 2018, while she was a beaten finalist at seven-and-a-half months pregnant against Laura Daniels last year.
In reaching this year’s final, Rednall successfully saw off two-time champion Julie Forrest 2-1 (10-8, 3-8, 2-1) in the last eight before overcoming Ireland’s Sandra Bailie 2-0 (10-6, 9-1) in the semi-finals.
"I scraped through against Sandra last night and watched Ali dig deep against Carla (Banks) and show exactly what she can do, so I knew I needed to be on top form to beat Ali," she said.
"I won the first set and then I never felt going into the first (second) set as if I was comfortable, I just had to start again.
"And Ali showed what she could do on those shorter jacks with the matt up and I thought blimey, she's got me here.
"But I managed to pull out a few good ones and just keep defending the lead."
Meanwhile, in the Singles event, Rednall beat fellow Stowmarket player Mark Royal 1½-½ (6-6, 7-6) in the opening round but was then beaten 2-1 (7-3, 2-7, 2-0) in the last 16 by Paul Foster.
And in the Mixed Pairs Rednall reached the semi-finals alongside Robert Paxton, with the duo being defeated 2-1 (9-6, 6-7, 2-0) by the combination of Merrien and Foster.