DEFENDING World Indoor Singles champion Mark Dawes finally rediscovered his form to book a quarter-final place at Potters after overcoming Scot Mike Stepney 9-6, 7-7 yesterday.

Radcliffe's Dawes had previously beaten friend, Ulsterman Graham McKee, 6-6 8-3, in a cagey first-round encounter.

Dawes claimed a notable first-ever world title 12 months ago, beating Robert Paxton in the showpiece, but his form has been woeful since, losing in the first round at both the International and Scottish International Opens, while also succumbing early on with with Jamie Chestney last week at the Norfolk venue as their Open Pairs' defence finished almost as soon as it had begun,

Radcliffe-based Dawes, who plays his bowls at Blackpool Newton Hall, will face Stewart Anderson in the last eight tomorrow.

He said. "I am just happy to get over the line.

"Since winning the title last year, I've not won a game since on the Tour so am happy to get through again.

"I play Stewart next who has been playing really well and will probably go into the game as favourite.

"But I have found this week a little bit easier than the other tournaments as you feel the pressure at those is a little bit more and here I am just here to enjoy myself.

"I made a big effort to come down a bit earlier and just to enjoy the experience, so I probably settled down a little bit better than I thought I would."