MIKE Titcombe, from the Westlecot Indoor Bowls Club, went very close last weekend to winning another Open Singles Circuit tournament.

The 23-year-old, a regular on the OSC scene and victorious in the Clarrie Dunbar tournament last year, was beaten in the final of the Wellingborough OSC tournament last Sunday by Egham’s Steve Tuohy.

But Titcombe, although missing out on the top prize of £1000, had the consolation of collecting the £400 runners-up prize for his efforts.

The sets were shared in the final against Tuohy 1-1 but Titcombe missed out on the tie breaker 2-1.

The two-day Wellingborough tournament saw Titcombe open with a comfortable 2-0 win on sets over Phil Arnell.

His next game was a lot tighter as opponent Dave Perkins drew one set but lost the other for a 1.5-0.5 Titcombe victory.

An OSC regular Martin Shepherd (Chipping Norton) was the next to fail to halt Titcombe’s progress in the third round (last 16) losing 2-1.

In the quarter-finals, Titcombe then beat Sleaford (Lincs) player Paul Roberts 2-0 before taking out in the semi-finals the OSC rankings leader Graham Smith (Spalding) on a tie breaker 2-1.

However, the final proved to be one hurdle too far for the Westlecot youngster as he lost 2-1 to multiple OSC tournament winner Steve Tuohy (Egham, Surrey) who moved up to third in the OSC rankings.

However, the runners-up spot earned Titcombe 75 ranking points and moved him up from 73rd into the top 32 at 27th on 156 points.

This now gives him a very good chance of staying in the top 32 with only four tournaments before the end of the indoor season and reaching the 2019 OSC Grand Final at Potters Leisure Resort, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk in late November and playing for a prize pot of over £3500.

Meanwhile, Mike Bowden has won the outstanding event, Open Singles, at the annual Westlecot indoor championships after defeating Dave Matthews 21-14 across two days after Matthews picked up a leg injury.

Elsewhere, three local players from Westlecot, Highworth and Shrivenham bowls clubs have been invited to attend the Bowls England junior (Under 25) outdoor international trials next month at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa on Monday, May 27.

The players chosen for the men’s trials are Westlecot’s Mike Titcombe and Shrivenham’s Scott Winskill who plays his bowls at Shrivenham for the Royal County of Berkshire.

The other player chosen is Highworth’s Joanna Hicks, a member of the Wiltshire ladies team.

The Wiltshire Ladies finished as runners-up at Leamington last season in the inter-county championships for the Johns Trophy but on the final couple of days of the five week championships scooped the Amey Rose Bowl for Wiltshire for the first time ever taking out Devon with a team full of senior and junior England internationals in the semi-finals.