Bowls: First-round victory gives Paul Foster world No 1 ranking

EAST LOTHIAN'S Paul Foster's 11-1, 7-3 first-round victory over Falkirk's Gary Hutcheson was good enough to see him take over as the world No 1 from his best friend Alex Marshall in the Welsh International Open at Swansea – the last WBT Ranking Event of the season.

Going into this event, Foster trailed newly crowned Potters world singles champion Greg Harlow by just one point, but a shock defeat for the City of Ely star from Israel's Zvika Hadar 9-0, 4-10, 2-1 left the door open for Foster, and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands, leaving him in an uncatchable position at the top of the rankings, to bring his season to a glittering climax.

Foster joined countrymen Marshall and Darren Burnett in the second round, however Glasgow's David Gourlay also tumbled to a shock defeat.

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Marshall beat David Corkhill from Bangor 4-9, 8-6, 2-0, while Burnett only dropped four ends in his 11-3, 8-3 win over Canada's Hirendra Bhartu. Gourlay was one set up and leading 6-1 in the second before Bobby Donnelly fought back to win on a tie break, 0-9, 9-8, 2-0.