BOWLS: National title for Chelsea and Ruby

Ruby Hill (left) and Chelsea Tomlin with EIBA president Margaret Allen
Ruby Hill (left) and Chelsea Tomlin with EIBA president Margaret Allen
  • English Indoor Championships
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Spalding’s Chelsea Tomlin and Ruby Hill won the national women’s indoor pairs title last night.

Tomlin followed in the footsteps of her dad Martin and grandfather Mick who won the national men’s indoor pairs title out of the Boston club in 1989 – five years before she was born.

This season, she finished runner-up in the national women’s under-25 singles, won the national mixed fours title and captained England to the British under-25 team title.

Hill and Tomlin were both in the England teams that won the British junior and senior team titles this winter.

Their ages add up to 42 years – considerably younger than defending champions Sandy Hazell and Wendy King from the Swale club in Sittingbourne.

Hill looks calm on the green but admitted afterwards that she hadn’t properly taken in what she and Tomlin had achieved.

Photos by David Rhys Jones - on behalf of the EIBA

Photos by David Rhys Jones - on behalf of the EIBA

The duo’s prospects looked bleak when Swale led 11-5 after 11 ends of the final at Melton Mowbray.

“We just kept plugging away and it all came right in the end,” said Tomlin.

“We started playing more aggressively and things went our way in the second half.”

Their success owes much to the drawing skills of Hill and the knack that Tomlin has in playing conversion shots.

We just kept plugging away and it all came right in the end.

Chelsea Tomlin

They were still 13-9 adrift with only four ends left to play – but they picked up a treble, a single and a double to lead 15-13 as the last end got under way.

Brilliant play from King set up a lie of two shots for Swale but Tomlin sent the jack into the open and drew the winning shot with her last bowl for a memorable 16-13 victory.

In the semi-final, Hill and Tomlin were 17-3 ahead when the game ended prematurely with only eight of the 18 ends being played.

Blackpool conceded when Sue Kearsley – partnering Janice Gower – was unable to continue due to a shoulder injury.

Jordan Philpott (left) lost to Jack Bird

Jordan Philpott (left) lost to Jack Bird

This success was Spalding’s third of the national indoor championships as Graham Smith won the men’s two bowl singles before Matt Whyers, Smith, Martin Spencer and Matt Orrey took the men’s fours title.

But Jordan Philpott was beaten 21-14 by Scarborough’s Jack Bird in the last 16 of the men’s singles.