A plumber from Yaxley is the best bowler in the world

Nicky Brett won the International Bowls Open to become world number one.
Nicky Brett won the International Bowls Open to become world number one.
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Yaxley’s Nicky Brett claimed his third world ranking title with a masterful display in the International Bowls Open in Blackpool today (March 6).

The win means Brett, who works as a plumber in Yaxley, is now ranked world number one.

Third seed Brett beat six-time world champion Alex Marshall MBE 12-4, 9-8 in the final to win this particular title for the first time. He had to survive a tense final bowl from Marshall who missed a golden opportunity to take the three shots he needed to take the final into a tie-break set.

Brett had kept his nerve to claim two shots on the penultimate end of the second set to go 9-7 ahead.

Brett was described as the ‘Ginger Ninja’ at the presentation ceremony. He performed a cartwheel to celebrate a terrific win and his new position as the world’s best player.

“I’m quite pleased to say the least,” Brett said. “I’ve now found a way to win when I’ve not been playing sensational bowls when in the past I’ve found a way to lose when playing well.

“I now ignore the bad bowls whereas in the past I was getting frustrated. I’m on a roll and I hope it continues for a little while longer.”

Brett beat Leicester man Les Gillett 9-7, 9-1 in his semi-final earlier today, after he’d been pushed hard in a tense quarter-final by Blackpool’s Mark Dawes yesterday (March 5)

Brett started the tournament as world number three and looked on course for an easy win against Dawes when taking the first set 10-1 and then strolling into a 5-1 lead in the second set, but Dawes scored eight shots without reply to take the match into a tie break.

Dawes took the first end, but Brett hit back with successive singles to sneak through.

Brett beat Damien Doubler (9-7, 10-5) and his regular doubles partner and City of Ely clubmate Greg Harlow (9-5, 6-6) on his way to the title.