ENGLISH INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: Spalding win star-studded men’s fours final

The successful Spalding four.
The successful Spalding four.
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Spalding bowlers claimed a national title at Melton Mowbray yesterday (March 25) and for Graham Smith it was a second national crown.

Smith won the two-bowl singles title on Friday and yesterday joined forces with Matt Whyers, Martin Spencer and Matt Orrey to win the fours.

They beat favourites Kingsthorpe 14-10 in the decider

And history was made in the final with all eight players having played at international level. Orrey was the only one who was not in the England team that won the British team title and lifted the Hilton Trophy in Paisley earlier this month.

To say that the final was a classic would be an understatement. With all eight players in top form, every time a player stepped on to the mat spectators expected the position to be changed - and it normally was!

Kingsthorpe’s Andy Manton, Connor Cinato, Neil McKee and Jamie Walker made the better start, and were 4-0 up in three ends - and they were still in front, 8-5, after nine of the eighteen ends, before Spalding opted for shorter jacks.

The move paid off, Spalding scoring nine shots to Kingsthorpe’s two in the second half, finishing with five singles over the last six ends to win.

In the semi-finals, Kingsthorpe, the newly-crowned British Isles fours champions, overwhelmed a Blackpool Newton Hall quartet skipped by new world champion Mark Dawes, 20-3, and Spalding came back from 0-5 after three ends to beat Oxford City & County, skipped by Mark Charlett, 21-9.