MARTIN Puckett coasted to seven straight wins to retain his trophy at the Grand Finals of the Open Singles Circuit at Hopton Sea, Norfolk.

Dorset’s England international Puckett, who won the event last season as a member of Moonfleet Bowls Club, pulled off a huge back to back success when retaining the title in supreme style under the banner of his present club Dorchester.

The circuit initially involves close to 30 open events throughout the country, each providing prize money and ranking points which finally produces the top 32 players for the Norfolk Grand Finals at Potters Resort, home of World Bowls.

Puckett qualified for the 2017/18 season’s finals ranking number three, with club colleague Darren Nutman in at number 30.

The last 32 were drawn in eight groups of four players, with a round-robin to produce the top two players in each group, for the final 16 knockout stage.

With each match comprising two sets and a three end shoot out if required, it was Nutman who took the first set in his opening match against international Nicky Brett, before losing the shoot out.

A win over Jack Bird enabled Nutman to move into the final 16 where he fell to Martin Shepherd 2-0. For his part, Puckett sailed through his group winning all three matches without dropping a set.

In the last 16, he eliminated Oxfordshire bowler Paul Sharman in straight sets and disposed of his quarter-final opponent Russell Robinson 9-2, 9-4.

Puckett’s semi-final pairing with Martin Shepherd of Chipping Norton Bowls Club, Oxfordshire, produced a close first

set which Puckett won 8-5, before romping the second set


The Dorchester player dominated the opening set of the final against James Rippey winning 9-0.

The second set, which Rippey had to win to stay in contention, was a tense affair with Puckett eventually sharing the spoils 4-4, to take the massive trophy for the second successive season.

Puckett played seven matches to win the title and did so without dropping a set.

The effort of driving 300 miles to Norfolk for the Open Circuit Finals produced a pay cheque of £1,600 for Martin and the retention of the impressive trophy for a further 12 months.


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