TAUNTON bowls star Rob Paxton saw his defence of the Open Singles title at the World Indoor Bowls Championship ended at the first hurdle on Monday - and he then suffered defeat in the Mixed Pairs final on Tuesday.

Paxton - a Taunton Deane Bowling Club member - took on Jack Bird, a 20-year-old from Scarborough, in the first round of the Open Singles and was edged out 8-7 in the first set, having been 6-1 up after four ends.

Bird raced into a 5-1 lead in the second set, at which point Paxton unexpectedly left the rink.

Five minutes later, tournament director Tom Weir announced that Paxton had conceded, due to personal family circumstances.

Paxton tweeted: “Would like to thank everyone for their messages of support yesterday. The news is positive from the hospital.

“Mixed pairs today then home to be with my family. Puts everything into perspective, especially after the year we have all had.”

Paxton, 42, had already been knocked out of the Open Pairs at the quarter-final stage, as he and Mark Royal were beaten 2-1 by Mark Dawes & Jamie Chestney.

There was still one chance for Paxton to add a fifth world title to his collection, however - the Mixed Pairs.

Paxton and Carla Banks, a 21-year-old Scot, opened with a 2-0 (7-6, 10-5) victory over Marion Purcell and Mervyn King in the quarter-finals, and they went on to defeat Katherine Rednall and David Gourlay 1.5-0.5 (6-6, 9-4) in the semis.

The final pitted them against two Scottish players, Julie Forrest and Stewart Anderson, who opened up a 6-2 lead after six ends and ultimately won the first set 8-3.

Banks and Paxton led 3-1 early in the second set, only for Forrest and Anderson to hit back for a 4-3 advantage after five ends.

It was 5-5 heading into the ninth end, but Forrest and Anderson clinched the set 6-5 and the match 2-0, to leave Banks and Paxton as runners-up.