Nigel Bond defeated Neal Jones 4-2 in the final at Landywood Snooker Club to win the Landywood English Seniors Championship for the first time.
The 1995 World Championship finalist stormed through the field of 56 players in impressive and often dramatic fashion, topping his group before battling through two deciders in the knockout phase and coming from behind in the final to secure the prestigious title.
The event began on the Saturday with the group stage. Among those in the line-up were Bond, who topped his group while dropping just a single frame, former ranking event semi-finalist Craig Steadman, who similarly topped his group and fired in the tournament high-break of 121 during this stage, and defending champion Lee Stephens – who also advanced despite a loss to Gary Skipworth.
As the event reach it’s second day, Bond’s tournament looked in jeopardy at the last 32 stage when he trailed 2-0 to David Brown in a best-of- five contest, but a break of 73 helped reduce the deficit before he was able to turn the match around to win it in the deciding frame.
Whitewash wins over Dharminder Lilly and Ian Martin followed for Bond as he advanced to the semi-finals, where he would meet Wayne Brown.
Brown, in strong form after winning the final event of the English Seniors Tour the previous weekend, had continued his positive run by eliminating Steadman, one of the pre-tournament favourites, 3-2 in the quarter-finals having trailed 2-0.
The semi-final meeting between Bond and Brown was a lengthy and hard-fought contest. While Brown never led the match, he continually pegged back his opponent to level terms until Bond eventually got over the line in the seventh and deciding frame.
On the other side of the draw 47-year-old Jones quietly advanced through the knockout stages, beating Jamie Bodle and Mark Ball with the loss of just a single frame, to set up a quarter-final match with Nic Barrow.
Barrow had won the earlier group stage meeting between the two and looked the favourite when he took the opening frame of this match. Jones was out for revenge, however, and took the next two to move ahead before Barrow fired in a break of 58 for force a decider.
Jones got the chance he needed in the fifth and final frame and took full advantage with a break of 70 to reach the semi-finals, where he beat Daniel Ward 4-1 to set up a final against Bond.
The opening exchanges of the best-of-seven frame final were scrappy and featured few breaks of note. Jones took the first by just eight points, but it was Bond who moved into the ascendancy as he won the next three to move one frame away from the title.
Jones pulled one back in another scrappy encounter, but Bond stepped up in frame six with a break of 72 to win the match 4-2 and secure the title of English Seniors champion.