Ilkeston’s Simon Skelton suffered a heart-breaking exit at the Just Retirement Professional World Indoor Singles.
He lost to Matthew Orrey on a tie- break, missing out by literally millimetres, with a tense measure on the final end going the Grantham man’s way.
Still impeded by a broken bone in his foot, Skelton played through the pain barrier once more and threatened to halt giant-killer Orrey’s progress thanks to a gutsy display on the portable blue rink.
The 43-year-old found himself 4-0 down early on, but responded in terrific fashion, claiming 10 shots across the next four ends to take a one-set advantage.
A slow start in the second set ultimately put paid to Skelton’s chances, although he nearly produced a tremendous fightback to complete a straight sets success.
Orrey raced into a 7-0 lead but Skelton, who again needed the assistance of a wheelchair, chipped away at that advantage, winning end after end. Unlike the first set, though, he was only picking up singles and it wasn’t enough to reel in Orrey, who clinched a tie- break after eventually sealing a 7-6 win.
The momentum was firmly with Skelton, but his opponent took first blood to lead 1-0, although the Ilkeston bowler responded in kind on the next end.
And then the match came to a final end shoot-out, with match official Allan Thornhill needing to get his callipers out after Skelton’s last delivery rested against Orrey’s shot bowl, with the red bowl being declared the winner, ending Skelton’s bid of world glory.