INDOOR BOWLS: Top Spalding trio shine on international duty

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Two of Spalding Indoor Bowls Club’s finest young players captained their respective England sides to home international success last week.

Annie Bellamy and Martin Spencer, who are both in their final year of lengthy junior careers, skippered the England U/25 women’s and men’s teams respectively to impressive wins.

Spalding’s Matt Whyers also made a winning start to his international career, making it a tournament to savour for Spalding IBC.

The ladies were playing in Bromsgrove and were drawn against Wales in their first match. England were in control throughout, with Annie skipping her rink of L Holden, L Catchpole and R Field to a 29-10 victory.

With Ireland not participating in the ladies event, England’s next match was a winner takes all affair and it lived up to expectations.

In a tense finish, England found themselves 60 shots to 63 behind with one end each left to play. But with home support, they held their nerve to score sevenshots without reply to win 67-63 and take the title.

Meanwhile in Newport, the men’s side cruised through their first match against Ireland, securing a 107-55 victory.

Making his debut, Whyers played number two with A Liddell, D Morris and J Walker, while Spencer was leading for M Puckett, L Ridout and P Martin in a rink that consists of three senior internationals.

Whyers played well and his set raced into a 23-7 lead after 16 ends, eventually winning 24-13. Spencer’s set picked up six shots in the last two ends to win 22-14.

England against Scotland is always a competitive match – and this proved no different.

Whyers’ set led throughout in a 23-10 win, while Spencer again scored big with a five and a six in consecutive ends early on, winning 23-15.

The last match saw England face local favourites Wales, knowing a win would secure the series.

This match turned out to be the best yet, with the home crowd spurring the Welsh side on. But it proved in vain, as England finished strongly to secure a 71-70 victory and sealed the series.

Spencer won 21-17, with Whyers also clinching a comfortable 25 shots to 10 success.

All three Spalding bowlers played their part and won eight matches out of a possible nine between them.

• Spalding IBC’s over-60s county side suffered a setback in their fight against relegation from Division One after going down 108-80 against Lincoln B on their own green.

Spalding’s top rink was P Blackman, R Briars, P Fillbrook and T Bell, with Dave Marriott captaining the side.