WORLD number six Rob Paxton won the annual Westlecot Indoor Open Singles tournament last weekend.

The Ilminster player and World Pairs and Mixed Pairs winner in 2015 beat England U25 international Ryan Atkins (Malvern Hills) in a three-end tie-breaker (7-2, 4-7, 2-1) to lift the Westlecot Open title for the first time and pocket the £1,000 top prize.

Atkins took the runners prize of £500 for a second time as he was also second in the 2013 final to Tom Doig.

The Westlecot event carried a total prize pot of £2,300 and was event number seven out of 28 on this season’s Potters Resort-supported nationwide Open Singles Circuit (OSC).

Paxton began with a comfortable 2-0 win (10-3, 10-0) over Sam Watts (Oxford C&C) but was pushed in his second game before beating Matt Short (Camberley) on a tie-breaker 2-1 (4-5, 9-3, 2-1) and in round three dismissed Cornwall’s Norman Coad (Bodmin) in straight sets 2-0 (7-3, 9-3).

In the quarter-finals Paxton needed another tie breaker to beat home player Phil Gregory 2-1 (3-4, 7-5, 2-1) before seeing off world number 11 Leicester’s Les Gillett 1.5-0.5 to book his spot in the final.

Atkins had an easier passage to the final, only being taken to one tie-breaker. He opened with a closely fought 2-0 (6-5, 5-3) win over John Hick (Clevedon) and then was taken all the way by clubmate Shaun Jones 2-1 (4-8, 10-3, 2-1) while in round three dismissed Ian Honnor (Swale) 2-0 (9-2, 5-4).

In the quarter-finals Atkins saw off another Malvern player Mike Holmes 2-0 (7-3, 8-3) and in the semis eliminated OSC regular Scott Edwards (Oxford C&C) 1.5-0.5 (6-6, 7-0).

Nearly all local players went out in the opening round - Clive Vaughan, Tom Pittuck, John and Kyle Anderson, Craig and Graham Hatherall, Ian Farragher and Lucy Smith. Mike Titcombe suffered a similar fate but only after pushing Gillett hard before losing narrowly 8-8, 6-7.

Katy Smith and father and tournament director Neil went out in round two, the latter to fellow Westlecot player Gregory, who was the highest placed Wiltshire player alongside Christie Miller’s Andy Moore in reaching the quarter-finals.

Pete Stewart, Westlecot indoor chairman said: “The weekend was hugely successful and everything ran well despite the adverse weather conditions.

“We would obviously like to thank our sponsors Hillier Funeral Services, Only Bungalows and K & EJ Crump 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.

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

“The Westlecot Open Singles was an unqualified success again, and we will certainly be hoping to hold the annual tournament again next year.”



Rob Paxton (Ilminster) beat Phil Gregory (Westlecot) 2-1 (3-4, 7-5, 2-1);

Scott Edwards (Oxford C&C) beat Andy Moore (Christie Miller, Melksham) 2-1 (5-4,1-7, 2-0); Les Gillett (Leicester) beat Mark Royal

(Risbygate, Suffolk) 2-0 (10-1, 9-7); Ryan Atkins (Malvern Hills) beat Mike Holmes (M Hills) 2-0(7-3, 8-3).


Atkins beat Edwards 1.5-0-5 (6-6, 7-0); Paxton beat Gillett 1.5-0.5 (11-1, 4-4).


Paxton beat Atkins 2-1 (7-2, 4-7, 2-1).