SCOTT Mitchell returned to the oche in spectacular style by being crowned England National Singles champion.

Bransgore's Mitchell plotted a thrilling route through the crowded field in Sussex, before toppling Paul Hogan in a gripping final to win the title for the first time.

Runner-up four years ago, Mitchell entered the tournament after taking a three-week break from action following his last-16 exit at May's World Trophy.

Nevertheless, the 47-year-old's competitive edge remained firmly intact as he held his nerve to get his campaign up and running with a 4-3 triumph over Harry Jackson.

That tense victory put Mitchell in strong stead for a series of close-fought battles. He overcame Carl Batchelor in a contest that went to the deciding leg. And after negotiating relatively straightforward clashes with Ben Hazel and Shaun Carroll, Mitchell was once more putting his supporters' nerves through the shredder in his last-16 meeting with Sven Verdonck.

He ultimately summoned all of his combative spirit to beat the Belgian 4-3, and then did exactly the same against Ross Montgomery to emerge triumphant from a seesaw seven-leg quarter-final encounter that went right to the wire.

Geert De Vos was the next victim of steamroller Mitchell, the 2015 World champion beating the same year's World Trophy winner 5-3 to go one stage further in this tournament than 12 months ago, when he lost a semi-final to Denis Harbour.

Hogan had navigated the latter stages of the tournament in pretty facile fashion but he couldn't live with Mitchell in the showpiece contest, the Dorset man prevailing 5-3 to win his third competition in three months – and a handsome £5,200 prize.

In the England Open, played across the weekend at the same Bunn Leisure Holiday Village location in Selsey, Mitchell, somewhat ironically, breezed through his first three matches before losing a nail-biter against Dutchman Derk Telnekes in the last-64.

Telnekes is in quarter-final action against Swindon's Josh McCarthy later today.