Spencer celebrates Open win at seaside

Martin Spencer
Martin Spencer

Royal Mail Cart’s Martin Spencer won the Planet Bowls Open singles tournament, beating a high quality field at Skegness Foreshore Bowls Club.

Spencer travelled to Skegness, along with other hopefuls from across the region, with the aim of taking the title in this sets format knockout tournament.

In the first round, Spencer faced a tricky opener against rival Ron Flowers from Carter’s Park, Holbeach but he found form early and won in straight sets (8-3, 7-6).

Next up was Dennis Baxter who was unable to trouble Spencer who won again in straight sets (7-3, 6-3) to set up a third-round clash with Dave Adams from Nottingham.

This match proved much more challenging, with Adams recovering from a set down to take the match into a tie-break, best of three ends.

Spencer held his nerve at one end all to take the deciding end and reach the quarter-finals.

This proved to be another close match, with Spencer losing the first set 4-7 against Northumberland’s Phil Rigby before recovering to take the next 11-2 and set up another tie-break.

Spencer took control to win both ends and progress to the semi-finals. Trevor Bannister was all that stood in the way of the final and some excellent bowling saw Spencer win both sets (7-2, 8-0) to book his place in the final.

His opponent, Gary Shepperson from Derbyshire, had progressed through the rounds and set up a mouth-watering final.

Shepperson struck first, winning the opening set 7-5, before Spencer hit back and reversed the scoreline in set two. Just two ends from the title, Spencer remained calm and took control, winning 2-0 in the tie-break to become the Open champion.

Spencer won £700 prize money as well as the coveted Jolly Fisherman figurine trophy and silver plate.

He also wins 100 ranking points, which puts him in a great position to qualify for the top 32 Grand Finals at Worthing on September 12 and 13.