SEAN Morrey emerged as the victor from a high-class finals night field to take the Castle Classic crown on Saturday.

The Crewe-based bowler had to be at his best to defeat former Waterloo champion Greg Smith – the bookies’ favourite – following a close encounter in the final.

He led by four shots early on, but when the West Bromwich ace hit back to lead 14-11 he appeared set to take the £700 first prize.

However his opponent had other ideas, and fought back to win 21-18.

It was a trait had had shown in the last eight two, recovering from 20-15 down to beat Roger Morgan (Sale) after a deciding end.

Morrey’s night had started with a comfortable win against Preston’s Ashleigh Woof (21-9) before he saw off Morgan and then surprise-package Brad Massey to secure a spot in the final.

Smith had dispatched Stoke ace Matt Fellows (21-11) and 2015 winner Matt Gilmore (21-3) to clinch a showdown with Morrey.

Winsford’s Daniel Nixon, a member at Wharton Cons, exited at the last 16 stage following a slender 21-20 reverse against Gilmore.

Another familiar face from the Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association, reigning Ladies’ Champion of Champions Nicola Boulton, began her bid promisingly when she saw off Jason Jones (21-11).

However Gilmore, who claimed the All England title in 2016, proved too strong in a one-sided quarter-final clash.


Castle Classic

Saturday, August 12

Last 16: Nicola Boulton 21-11 Jason Jones; Andy Delooze 8-21 Matt Fellows; Matt Gilmore 21-20 Daniel Nixon; Chris Kearns 9-21 Roger Morgan; Brad Massey 21-14 Leighton Roberts; Ross Meese 21-6 Paul Chamberlain; Sean Morrey 21-9 Ashleigh Woof. Bye: Greg Smith

Quarter-finals: Fellows 11-21 Smith; Gilmore 21-2 Boulton; Meese 15-21 Massey; Morrey 21-20 Morgan

Semi-finals: Gilmore 3-21 Smith; Morrey 21-15 Massey

Final: Morrey 21-18 Smith