RADCLIFFE ace Mark Dawes is a double world champion after winning the World Indoor Bowls singles title on Sunday at Potters Leisure Resort.

He saw off Robert Paxton 8-7, 6-8, 2-0 in the final, completing a remarkable double at the championships for the local hero who lifted the pairs crown with Jamie Chestney earlier in the week.

But unlike that one, this one was all his own doing and he deserved all the acclaim he got, along with the Langham Glass Trophy and cheque for £55,000, as he was by far the best bowler of the championships.

That honour was bestowed upon him by his opponent Paxton who, while frustrated with some members of the ‘coughing’ crowd, still reserved the utmost praise for Dawes and admitted “the best man won”.

Dawes said: “I’m over the moon. I’ve played poorly so many times on the portable rink, but thankfully they’ve come out all right over the past two weeks. It’s the high point point of my career by an absolute mile. For me as an indoor player only, this is the pinnacle, as good as you can get indoors. I have won the National singles and British Isles, but ultimately this is a world title and they don’t get any bigger than that.

“I thought winning the Pairs less than a week ago was my greatest achievement and I have managed to pass it within the space of a week. Two world titles from a man who was here for three days last year. I genuinely cannot believe it.”

After a razzmatazz build-up, which featured a Les Miserables ditty from 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 opponent actually moving ahead on end eight, but Dawes 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 and Paxton pulled out some big drives in order to turn the deficit into a two-shot win to trigger the three-end lottery.

Paxton nipped off for a rest break and the couple of minutes of respite seemed to galvanise Dawes and he delivered some pressure bowls to take the first end and he lay shot on the second end. Again, Paxton fired, took the red bowl, but Dawes responded in kind and his opponent had no answers and it was the 35-year-old who reigned supreme.

“I definitely felt on top without ever being in control, more in the first set than the second, but Robert would just get one bowl in there, which was a little frustrating,” said Dawes. “But fortunately I won the first set and it gave me the confidence in the second set, although I didn’t feel I played as well in the second.

“But in the tie-break, if I were to play two tie-break ends those were the ones I would have played. I put him under pressure all the time and even when he hit me off on the final end, I put another one close to put the pressure back on.”

Dawes paid tribute to his family, friends and top-16 colleagues for their messages of support afterwards, concluding: “The support has been fantastic and I’ve had messages from so many people. The major ones were from people in the top 16, the likes of Paul Foster, Alex Marshall, Greg Harlow, etc.

“To get the respect from fellow players and them saying I’ve played well up to this stage and wish me good luck, was great, meant the world to me and reaffirmed to me that I finally belong at this level.”