Dom McVittie.

England team call ups for six Spalding bowls players

Six members of Spalding Indoor Bowls Club received call ups to play for England this week.

It was a special moment especially for Dominic McVittie (pictured) who has been selected to play for the men’s senior team for the first time, whilst Stephen Harris and Graham Smith retain their places.
McVittie will play number three to current world indoor singles champion Jamie Walker, with Shaun Jones and Andrew Walters at the front end, Harris will lead a rink with Martin Puckett, Les Gillett and Greg Harlow whilst Smith will play at number two in a rink skipped by Robert Paxton, with Paul Hartley who has been recalled into the team and Joe Dawson who will also be playing for his country for the first time.
Ruby Hill, Annie Dunham and Chelsea Spencer also retained their places in the ladies’ senior team.
Hill and Dunham will play in the same rink at lead and skip respectively with Kylie Jenkins and team captain Sandy Hazell.
Spencer will also skip her own rink with Cassidy Hampton, Chloe Brett and Anna Noble.
Hill was also called up to play in the ladies’ under 25 team where she will skip a rink for the first time with Hannah Smith, Jasmine Wilson and Imogen Cracknell. 
The ladies’ under 25 British Isles international series will first take place at Belfast Indoor Bowls Club over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, February 10 and 11.
Scotland won the series in 2023 so England will be keen to regain the Acle Trophy.
It will then be over to the ladies’ senior team and their series will take place at Falcon Indoor Bowls Club between Friday and Sunday, March 8 and 10.
England are defending champions after winning the series in Scotland last season so the ladies will hope that the home crowd can help them win the Clara Johns Trophy back to back.
Soon after, the men’s senior team will take to the green, also at Falcon Indoor Bowls Club between Thursday and Saturday, March 14 and 16.
Last season, Scotland ended England’s record breaking run of seven consecutive series wins so England will be trying to regain the Hilton Trophy in front of home support. 
lOn Sunday, December 10, Spalding Indoor Bowls Club enjoyed a friendly fixture against the Lincolnshire VPs.
Spalding started the stronger of the two teams and were as many as 30 shots ahead but the visitors fought back to reduce the deficit to six at 14 ends.
Spalding eventually won 106-92.
Top winning rink was skipped by George Deaton, with Tony Westland, Paul Lockie and Martin Holmes who won 25-7.
lOn Sunday, December 10, Spalding Lightning made it through to the quarter final of the Egham Trophy with a convincing win against Barwell.
Spalding Lightning were always in control and Barwell conceded when all rinks had played between 12 and 14 ends with the score at 78-26.
Although winning on all rinks, the main damage was done by the rink skipped at home by Graham Smith, with Kevin Ekins, Carole Nunney and Annie Dunham who had an impressive 28-2 rink win.
The national quarter final will be played on Sunday, January 14 where opposition is unknown.
Rink scores: Home – Kevin Ekins, Carole Nunney, Annie Dunham and Graham Smith won 28-2; Ruby Hill, Tracy Philpott, Simon Lilley and Jordan Philpott won 18-7. Away – Stephen Harris, Julie Hicks, Chelsea Spencer and Mathew Orrey won 18-7, Jean Patterson, Karen Martin, Martin Spencer and Dominic McVittie won 14-10.
lOn Saturday, December 9, there were mixed emotions for Spalding Lightning as the men progressed in the Denny Cup but the ladies crashed out of the Yetton Trophy.
Starting with the men in the Denny Cup, a competition that Spalding Lightning won in 2022, they beat Huntingdon by 16 shots, 81-65 to book their place in the last 16.
Spalding Lightning were three behind at five ends but by ten ends, they were 45-27 up.
The lead was reduced slightly by 15 ends (58-46) before Spalding Lightning won 81-65.
Spalding Lightning won on all rinks but top winning rink was skipped at home by Jordan Philpott, with Kevin Ekins, David Nunney and Simon Lilley who won 24-15.
The other home rink skipped by Mathew Orrey also had an impressive result against Nicky Brett as they turned round a 13-2 deficit to eventually win 18-16.
Next up are Nottingham in the last 16 on Saturday, January 6.
Rink scores: Home – Kevin Ekins, David Nunney, Simon Lilley and Jordan Philpott won 24-15; Dan Mills, Jack Wells, Graham Smith and Mathew Orrey won 18-16. Away – Ollie Jeapes, Martin Simpson, Martin Spencer and Dominic McVittie won 18-15;
Brian Martin, Nick Wilkie, Stephen Harris and Tristan Morton won 21-19.
Over to the ladies in the Yetton Trophy who played a strong St Neots in the last 32.
The match was closely contested and Spalding Lightning were in front by one shot at ten ends.
Unfortunately, St Neots pulled away second half of the game as they went 68-61 up at 15 ends before eventually winning 94-81.
Spalding Lightning did manage one winning rink which was skipped by Chelsea Spencer, with Carole Nunney, Mandy Parkins and Sandra Hammond who won 26-11.
Rink scores: Home – Carole Nunney, Mandy Parkins, Sandra Hammond and Chelsea Spencer won 26-11; Jean Patterson, Petrine Ault, Tracy Philpott and Ruby Hill lost 19-33. Away – Ann Newbury, Michelle Billingsley, Betty Deaton and Julie Hicks lost 19-21; Jan Sinclair, Sue Slayven, Maggie Wheatley and Maisie Belding lost 17-29.

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