MARTIN PUCKETT was a worthy winner of the tenth annual Westlecot Open Singles tournament staged at the Old Town indoor club’s premises in Bowling Green Lane last weekend.

The England international and Dorset player, a regular on the Open Singles circuit (OSC) representing Dorchester IBC beat in the final Oxford City and County’s Scott Edwards, the world ranked No. 18 and multiple OSC tournament winner in a three end tie breaker 2-0.

Puckett won the first set convincingly 9-3 but lost the second narrowly to Edwards 5-4 but bounced back to take the best of three ends tie breaker 2-0 to lift the Westlecot Open title for a first time, pocket the £1,000 top prize and become the ninth different player to lift the Westlecot Open.

Edwards had the consolation of collecting the runners-up £400 prize.

Westlecot’s Open Singles event, their tenth was again sponsored by local firms Only Bungalows and Hillier Funeral Services plus Michael’s Workwear and Royal Wootton Bassett butcher K&EJ Crump and son.

It carried a total prize pot of £2,200 and was event number ten out of 32 on this season’s Potters Leisure Resort supported nationwide Open Singles Circuit.

The victorious Puckett strolled through his early rounds with three 2-0 wins over Kevin Moore (Turnips, Saffron Walden, Essex) , Cory Davies (Merthyr Tydfil) and Shaun Jones (Malvern Hills) before overcoming Andy Moore (North Wilts) in the quarter-finals 1.5-0.5 drawing the first set 6-6 and winning the second 7-2.

In the semi-finals Puckett collected a big scalp eliminating world No. 5 Les Gillett (Barwell, Leics) 2-1 in a tight game decided by a tie breaker (8-2, 3-5, 2-1) and then beat Edwards (Oxford City & County) in the final on a tie breaker 2-1 (9-3, 4-5, 2-0).

Scott Edwards had an equally comfortable ride as Puckett to the semi-finals but then halted Risbygate (mid-Suffolk) world No.14 Mark Royal’s bid to win a third Westlecot title 1.5-0.5 winning the first set 8-2 and draw in the second 5-5 to claim his place in the final with Puckett.

Practically all of the local players went out in the opening two rounds of the Westlecot Open tournament but three reached the third round Westlecot’s Lucy Smith, Phil Gregory and Neil Smith but were all beaten on three end tiebreakers 2-1.

Neil Smith went down to Norman Coad (Newquay) 2-1 (4-9, 9-4, 1-2), his daughter Lucy lost to Martin Shepherd (Chipping Norton) 2-1 (6-4, 3-8, 1-2) and Phil Gregory lost to OSC regular Andy Moore (North Wilts) 2-1 (3-5, 7-6, 1-2).

“The weekend was a huge success and ran well,” said tournament director Neil Smith. “There were some cracking games for the spectators to watch as well as top quality bowling.

“We would obviously like to thank our sponsors Hillier Funeral Services, Only Bungalows, Michaels’s Workwear and Bassett butcher K&EJ Crump and son for their support or else we could not have staged such a prestigious tournament and attracted a top class field with four of the top players in the world taking part.”

Smith added: “Thanks is due as well to all of the organising committee for all their hard work and of course the umpires and markers.”

RESULTS Quarter-finals Andy Moore (North Wilts) lost to Martin Puckett (Dorchester) 0.5-1.5 (6-6, 2-7); Scott Edwards (Oxford C&C) beat Trevor Roberts (Falaise, Hastings, E Sussex) 1.5-0.5 (7-2, 7-7); Martin Shepherd (Chipping Norton) lost to Les Gillett (Barwell, Leics) 0-2 (5-7, 6-10); Norman Coad (Newquay) lost to Mark Royal (Risbygate, Bury St.Edmunds, Suffolk) 1-2 (4-10, 8-3, 0-2).

Semi-finals S Edwards beat M Royal 1.5-0.5 (8-2, 5-5); M Puckett beat L Gillett 2-1 (8-2, 3-5, 2-1).

FINAL Puckett beat Edwards 2-1 (9-3, 4-5, 2-0).