Short-mat bowls: Martin earns national title

CHAMPION: Wool’s Robert Martin, left, receives the UK Open trophy

CHAMPION: Wool’s Robert Martin, left, receives the UK Open trophy

First published in Sport by , Sports Reporter

NATIONAL glory was secured for Wool’s Robert Martin as he won the UK Open title in Broms-grove.

The 32-year-old created history when he overcame a field of more than 140 entrants to be crowned champion, the first Englishman to achieve the feat on home soil with the Players’ Tour.

With the tournament victory that scooped him £500 in prize money on his debut, Martin currently tops the rankings on the Players’ Tour.

“It was definitely the biggest thing I’ve ever won,” he told Echosport.

“It was certainly good to do it and was a little bit unbelievable at the same time.”

Martin defeated Ireland’s Mark Beattie 11-8 in the final to seal the crown in front of a strong contingent of Irish supporters.

The champion added: “He (Beattie) came back well at the end but I had enough there to get over the line.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever entered an event on the Players’ Tour so to go unbeaten and win an event like that was certainly out of this world for me, I had to beat some world-class players on the way.

“I suppose you dream about going all the way and I certainly didn’t expect to.

“My main aim was to qualify for the main competition and just take each round as I went when I got into that. I was fairly nervous but after each game my confidence grew.”

And with his first win on the tour, Martin is hoping to be available to defend his number-one ranking, and go on to represent his country in 2015.

He added: “I am going to hope to speak to work and discuss playing more events on the tour, other events are in Ireland, Belgium, Sweden and Cyprus, bowls is quite a big sport now.

“I am hoping to enter them all and if I remain high in the rankings at the end of the season the tour have introduced a World Cup next year so hopefully I can go on and play for England.”

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