Nigel Bond dropped just one frame all weekend as he won the 2023 Rick Connolly Chartered Financial Planning English Over-55 Snooker Championship.
Playing in the event for the first time, former professional British Open champion and world championship finalist Bond lifted the trophy at Club 147 in Leicester.
The 57-year-old cruised through Saturday’s groups phase, winning all four of his matches 2-0 – with breaks of 136 (would stand as the event’s highest), 109, 92 and 52 – to top Group B and qualify for Sunday’s knockouts as one of the four seeds who advanced automatically to the last eight.
He returned the next day and registered runs of 51, 48 and 52 in a 3-0 quarter-final win against two-time winner John Rees, and continued scoring well with breaks of 75, 73 and 42 whilst defeating Terry Singleton 3-0 in the last four.
Coming through the other side of the draw was reigning and defending champion John Welsh, who was also very impressive.
Welsh – an English amateur championship finalist last year, too – did likewise by winning all four of his group games without relinquishing a frame and then denying Richard Emery 3-0 in the last eight. In the last four, though, Welsh had to come from behind twice and needed a deciding frame to see off Gary Miller 3-2. On his way to his third final in as many editions, Welsh racked up breaks of 120, 89, 74, 67 and 50.
In the final, Welsh ruined his opponent’s competition clean sheet by claiming the opening frame, but Bond levelled up by winning frame two on the final black before hitting breaks of 32, 37 and 54 to go one away, and then completing the task with another potted final black for a 3-1 victory.
The EPSB would like to thank all the players, officials, staff at the Club 147 venue (venue owner Ram pictured with Bond below) and tournament sponsor Rick Connelly Chartered Financial Planning for all their support.