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Admirable Nelson books place in county singles semi-finals

PUBLISHED: 09:30 04 July 2017

Bill Nelson of Ford Sports is into the semi-finals of the Essex County Singles

Bill Nelson of Ford Sports is into the semi-finals of the Essex County Singles

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The veteran rolls back the years as holder Morris goes out

Bill Nelson of Ford SportsBill Nelson of Ford Sports

Ford Sports bowler Bill Nelson booked his place in the semi-finals of the Essex County Singles competition for the first time in his career on Monday night at the RHP Club in Chelmsford.

The veteran may be over 70, but he rolled back the years once again to get the better of Tom Plant from Essex County 21-17 and book his place at Westcliff.

“It is wonderful,” said the delighted Nelson after the game. “I have been looking forward to making the county semi-finals because I missed out before when I was beaten by Andy Squire.”

There is no Andy Squire left this year, while holder Ed Morris also went out on Monday, meaning there will be a new name on the coveted trophy.

“I did fancy my chances in this game because I am really bowling well and when I am doing that there is no reason why I can’t beat whoever I come up against,” said Bill, who still found himself behind early on by 7-1.

He pulled it back to level at 7-7, only to then put the jack in the ditch and then two shots and it was Plant who was just in front for most of the way until a dramatic end at 14-13, when Nelson picked up a maximum four shots for the second time in the game.

“The two fours killed him,” said Nelson. “At the time he was one or two up and all of a sudden he was behind and they were four great woods I think.”

Nelson moved steadily to lead 20-15, but there was still some fight in the Essex County man as he hauled it back to 20-17, before the Ford man got over the line.

He will now face his great friend Steve Gunnell of Bournemouth Park in the semis at Westcliff on July 15 and it is a game he is relishing.

“I wouldn’t like to say that I will win, but I have as much chance as the other three. If I can beat Steve and play in the final then it is anybody’s game,” he said.

“I would hate to get this far and go out in the semis, but I couldn’t go out to a nice bloke than Steve. I still want to win it though.”

The other semi will see reigning county under-25 champion Conor Mathers from Brightlingsea come up against Stuart Lowe of the Springhouse club, who beat champion Morris by 21-17.

“To be honest it has always been a wide open competition this year, even with Ed Morris in it.

“If you saw him in his game tonight and I got little sneaks of it, he was firing all the time, playing weight and that is no way to win a match.”

Could this be Nelson’s year? He thinks it might be as long as one thing is not present at Westcliff on the day.

“No rain please,” he said. “Anything but rain!”

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