TOM Vickers’ bid to win a second British Individual Senior Merit title ended early after he suffered a first-round exit.

The Wharton Cons star, a victor two years ago, found Paul Lamb too tough an opponent to overcome during a 21-13 defeat.

He had appeared in control at Griff & Coton Sports Club after establishing an 8-4 lead, only for a break of 14 by the North Midlands Merit winner to change the course of the contest.

Vickers rallied briefly after Lamb, representing the host county on a green that he knows, lay game at 20-9.

However the gap proved too wide to close.

“I’m disappointed, but I knew from the moment the draw was made I’d be up against it,” he reflected.

“He played well, and I couldn’t seem to put him under pressure after making a decent start.”

Lamb went on to reach the last 16 before succumbing to eventual winner Darren Plenderleith, who avenged a defeat in last month’s North Midlands Merit final at Walsgrave Bowls Club.