INDOOR BOWLS: Wonderful Whyers seals coveted crown

ALL-CLUB AFFAIR: Michael Penfold, from Stonehaven Residential Home, presents the Spalding under-25 Open trophy to winner Matt Whyers (left) and finalist Martin Spencer. Photo supplied
ALL-CLUB AFFAIR: Michael Penfold, from Stonehaven Residential Home, presents the Spalding under-25 Open trophy to winner Matt Whyers (left) and finalist Martin Spencer. Photo supplied

Home favourite Matt Whyers won the Stonehaven Residential Home-sponsored Spalding Under-25 Open after beating club mate Martin Spencer.

It was an all-Spalding Indoor Bowls club final at the Castle Sports Complex – and the duo delivered a sensational display fitting of the ocassion.

Some 24 players entered the event, which was played to the ‘Premier 3’ format – meaning each player used three bowls in a best of three sets match, with just three ends per set.

If the scores were level after three sets, a one end, one bowl shoot-out determined the winner. Four groups of six players played in a round robin format with the top two qualifying from each set for the quarter finals.

Spalding were left with four players in the draw for the last eight – and all managed to avoid each other.

In the first quarter, 13-year-old Ruby Hill, cheered on by the home crowd, won a tense match against Tom Warner (Five Rivers club in Wiltshire) 2-1.

Whyers was then pitched against Katherine Rednall, from Ipswich, and he ran out the winner by 2 sets to nil.

In the tie of the round, Spencer played Connor Citano from Desborough, which went down to the wire. The scores were level after three sets to set up a shoot-out. Spencer played first, finishing a foot short, which was close enough for victory.

In the final match, Matt Pownall from Desborough proved too good for Spalding’s Calvin Leuty as he won in straight sets to prevent an all Spalding clean-sweep in the semi final.

Whyers then became the first player to reach the final, seeing off young gun Hill 6-0 and 3-1. Promising starlet Hill will have plenty more attempts to reach the final and played very well all day.

It was closer in the other semi, as Spencer and Pownall were battling it out. Home player Spencer won the first set 3-1, before Pownall drew level with a 4-2 success.

In the decider, Spencer took control to win 4-0 and set up a much-anticpated all-Spalding final.

It lived up to expectations too, as both players reached top form. Each set could have gone either way, but it was Whyers who edged it, winning 3-2 and 4-2 to become the champion for 2013 and collect the £350 prize money on offer. Spencer collected £150 as runner up, while the losing semi-finalists picked up a £50 consolation prize for their efforts.

Spalding IBC’s thanks go to Michael and Marie Penfold from the Stonehaven Residential Home for sponsoring the event and providing very generous prize money, which ensured the event attracted many of the areas top young players. Thanks also go to Graham Smith and all his helpers, including the markers and umpires, as well as Smith’s daughter Beth for keeping the scores updated all day and providing the music for each player to march out to.