BOWLS: Connor crowned champion at Spalding Open

Paul Roberts

Connor Cinato won the annual Spalding Open singles tournament for the first time on Saturday, beating former world champion Nicky Brett in a thrilling final.

The tournament is part of the nationwide Open Singles Circuit and was sponsored by Jet2.com who donated £1,700 in prize money.

Nicky Brett

Play started on Friday night with two sessions before a full day on Saturday with knockout matches to a sets format, with seven ends in each set, best of three sets.

Cinato’s opening match saw him beat current world number one Greg Harlow in straight sets.

Brett also won his opener in straight sets, beating Chris Ballard 11-4, 9-3.

After nine sessions, there were just eight players remaining.

Scott Whyers

Despite no Spalding players left in the competition, there was still a large crowd to support those involved.

Quarter-final results: Scott Whyers beat Stephen Harris 2-1 (10-5, 2-7, 2-0); Connor Cinato beat Robert Elmore 2-1 (1-7, 8-5, 2-0); Nicky Brett beat Andy Walters 2-1 (4-5, 7-1, 2-0); Paul Roberts beat Glenn Williams 2-1 (11-2, 3-7, 2-0).

Both semi-finals were decided in straight sets, as Brett secured a comfortable 2-0 victory over Roberts (9-4, 6-2) and Cinato beating Whyers 6-3, 9-0.

The final lived up to expectations as both players found great form to thrill the packed crowd.

Connor Cinato

Cinato won the first set 7-4 before Brett took the second by the same scoreline.

In the deciding end of the tie-break, Cinato ditched the jack to leave Brett very little room to draw shot.

Despite a fantastic effort, Brett fell a few inches short to give Cinato the shot he needed to take the title and the £800 first prize.

Brett received £300 for his efforts, as losing semi-finalists took £150 each and losing quarter-finalists received £75.

The tournament was organised by Graham Smith and his daughter Beth.

Thanks also went to Colin Wilson who was the umpire for all sessions, racking up over 17 hours of duty, plus the catering staff, spectators, markers and players.

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