SIX-TIME World Indoor Singles champion Alex Marshall was philosophical in defeat as he crashed out of the blue riband event to Englishman Les Gillett at the second-round stage of the Just 2017 World Professional Championships.

‘Tattie’, aiming for a record seventh crown, couldn’t quite find his very best form against the Leicestershire ace, slipping quietly out of the tournament following a 4-6, 6-8 defeat, his second loss against Gillett at Potters this year, following his and Paul Foster’s defeat to ‘Razor’ and Jason Greenslade in the pairs event.

“It was hard work out there as Les was superb,” admitted Marshall.

“I have never seen Les play like that before. He was deadly!

“I thought I played okay, although I played too many loose ends and wasn’t consistent enough. But it’s only a game of bowls.”

Tranent star Marshall had dispatched Welsh qualifier Robert Chisholm in the previous round with consummate ease, but found No. 15 seed Gillett a much tougher nut to crack.

Marshall lost the first set 6-4, but despite an early lead in the second, he soon found himself behind again.

A two-shot deficit after four ends became four after the seventh, but a treble gave Marshall a glimmer of hope, but brilliant Gillett soon closed the door on the soon-to-be 50-year-old and clinched the match by picking up a single to clinch a straight-sets victory.

Far from being down after defeat, Marshall insisted he would return in 12 months’ time, determined to add another title to his packed CV.

“I’ll be back,” he added. “I still feel I have been playing my best bowls in the last few years.

“I may be 50 in a few days, but it is just a number to me.

“If you’re still playing well and feeling okay, you can still carry on”.

Meanwhile, Joe Mower’s hopes of retaining the World Indoor Under-25 Singles title were thwarted when he lost his semi-final tie against English qualifier Martin Puckett.

The opening set was a tentative affair, with both players failing to find their best form on the portable rink. After six ends, the scoreline read 4-4 but then Puckett took a firm grip on the set by taking five shots over the next three ends to take it 9-4.

In the second set, both players seemed to settle and the quality of play improved dramatically; again after six ends played it was 4-4. Puckett took a single on the seventh end before Welshman Mower, who lives in Haddington, fought back to take a single on the next end.

In the final end of the set, Puckett produced a terrific last-bowl delivery to take the set and match.