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Spalding Indoor Bowls Club aces secure places at the England international trials

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Spalding Indoor Bowls Club will be well represented at the forthcoming England trials, which are being held at Northampton over the weekend of December 4 and 5.

Stephen Harris and Jordan Philpott (men’s) and Ruby Hill (women’s) will be trying to retain their places in the England Under 26 teams on the Saturday morning.

This would normally be under 25s but, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been extended to under 26s so that those players who are now too old don’t miss out on their potential final year.

Stephen Harris and Graham Smith (53166918)
Stephen Harris and Graham Smith (53166918)

In the afternoon, it’s the turn of the seniors where Graham Smith and Mark Dawes will try to retain their places in the men’s team while Harris, Martin Spencer and Dominic McVittie will all be aiming to impress the selectors and earn a place in the squad.

Hill, Chelsea Tomlin and Annie Dunham will be hoping to retain their places in the ladies team.

A special mention should also be made for Harry Mycock, who has earned his first trial for the Under 19s team which is taking place on the Sunday of that weekend.

Ruby Hill qualified for the ladies national under 25 singles finals last weekend.

The finals are actually being held at Spalding over the weekend of January 22 and 23.

Aaron Barnes and Jordan Philpott are still in contention to qualify for the men’s event.

Spalding started their Egham Trophy campaign on Sunday with a comfortable 114-50 win against Grantham.

The Egham is a mixed knock-out competition with two men and two women playing in each rink, with two rinks at home and two away.

Although the final score was emphatic, the early exchanges did not suggest this would be a runaway fixture.

Spalding were still the early pacesetters as they went 23-14 ahead at five ends, but the match was probably won between five and 10 ends as the lead was extended to 54-20 by that point.

By 18 ends, the lead was 91-45 before the final 65-shot winning margin of 114-50.

Winning on all four rinks and topping the charts was the home line-up skipped by Mathew Orrey, with Jean Patterson, Rebecca Simpson and Graham Smith, who returned an impressive 37-8 win.

Current world singles and pairs champion Mark Dawes also made his debut for the club.

The away rink, skipped by Dominic McVittie, even had the rare end of a full house score of eight shots.

They now face Church Gresley or Barwell in the next round on Sunday, November 28.

Rink scores: Home – Jean Patterson, Rebecca Simpson, Graham Smith and Mathew Orrey won 37-8; Karen Martin, Maggie Wheatley, Martin Spencer and Tristan Morton won 29-11; Away – Ruby Hill, Louise Harris, Jordan Philpott, Mark Dawes won 21-19; Andy Dunham, Julie Hicks, Chelsea Tomlin and Dominic McVittie won 27-12.

Spalding continued their impressive start in the Lincolnshire County Men’s League with a 10-4 win at home to Stamford A.

Spalding won on two rinks and lost on two, but the top winning rink was skipped by Dominic McVittie with Mick Dolton, Paul Turner and Brian Martin who won 26-10.

Spalding were always in control, but Stamford showed their fighting qualities as they got back to within three shots before Spalding pulled away again to win by 11.

That makes it two wins from two and the next fixture is now at home to Stamford B on Saturday, November 27.

Spalding’s Jordan Philpott, Stephen Harris and Ollie Jeapes helped Lincolnshire to a 14 shot win against Durham in the inter-county under 25 double rink at York & District Indoor Bowls Club on Saturday.

Ollie (lead) and Jordan (skip) were in the same rink with Dan Stanley and Nathan Dunnington as they returned a 27-14 winning scorecard. Stephen skipped the other rink to a 16-15 win.

Next up for the county under 25 team are Yorkshire on Sunday, December 19, in the last 16.

Spalding went down to a 109-89 defeat against Melton in a friendly where the scoreline didn’t do justice to the performance of the team.

They lost across four of the six rinks with one drawing 15-15 and the final rink taking a win. The winning rink for Spalding was Pat Cox, June Angus, Alan Tokley and Mick Jennings who triumphed 29-12.

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