Nelson hotshot Shannon McIlroy (left) raced away to a 15-6 lead over Scottish superstar Paul Foster before being overhauled.

For the first 11 ends of yesterday's much-awaited round eight clash between Black Jack Shannon McIlroy and Scottish superstar Paul Foster at the world bowls championships in Adelaide, the 25-year-old Nelson whiz demonstrated why he is considered one of the sport's top singles players.

However, over the ensuing eight ends Foster demonstrated why he is the best singles player in the world when he converted a 6-15 deficit to a 21-16 victory in a scintillating display.

"Paul's 'A' game kicked in on the 12th end and once he starts to run hot it's almost impossible to stay with him," McIlroy said after the match.


Despite the loss, McIlroy is still well in touch with a berth in the knock-out phase of the championships.

The New Zealand men's fours team of Richard Girvan, Ali Forsyth, Matt Gallop and Tony Grantham, after a crushing 30-5 win over China in round seven, have made their quest for a berth in the play-offs an almost impossible dream when they drew 15-15 with Zimbabwe in their next round.

And while the women's pairs combination of reigning world champions Jo Edwards and Val Smith have been on a rollercoaster ride in Adelaide, losing 11-22 to the previously unheralded Hong Kong duo of Camilla Leung and Joanna Nam, after thumping their USA opponents in the seventh round, they are still well in contention for another world title tilt.

But it is the women's triple of youngsters Mandy Boyd and Lisa White flanking the experienced Jan Khan that is warming Black Jack hearts in Adelaide.

A brilliant 22-5 win over the highly fancied English team in round seven has been tainted by a 14-14 draw against Malaysia. However, with lesser lights Norfolk Island, Thailand and Holland to play, they are a strong chance to be visible in the knockout finals.