Risbygate Masters packs out for Indoor Bowls contest
World Bowls star Jamie Chestney from Exeter won the Risbygate Masters Indoor Bowls competition at a packed Risbygate Sports Club on Sunday.
Disappointingly local interest ended in the first round with 2017 winner Katherine Rednall, Mark Royal, Alan Blowers and Dan Poole all missing out.
Royal won his second set 9-0 but the tie-break went against him while Rednall narrowly lost her first set to mean a tied second set was not enough. Despite this, there was still a top-class final for the spectators.
Chestney took the first set 9-2 against Chelmsford’s James Rippey, before Rippey hit back to take the second set 7-4.
Thus it came down to a tie break and Chestney, after winning End One, surprised everyone in the arena by trying to hit a bare jack on End Two.
He missed with his first bowl, but his second attempt struck the jack off the side of the rink. Rippey drew close, and this time Chestney drew onto the front of the jack.
Rippey’s attempt at a match-saving draw snagged on a short bowl but it was an enthralling finish to a marvellous day of bowls.
In the semi-finals, Chestney beat Norfolk’s Rebecca Willgress (nee Field) in a tight match while Rippey shared one-sided sets with Ely’s Andy Ware before taking the tie-break 2-0.
Chestney was one of a host of the country’s top bowlers displaying their skills to a full venue. His journey from Devon was the furthest and others came from Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire with a strong contingent from Norfolk.
Meanwhile, last month’s World Bowls finalist Simon Skelton from Nottingham lost in a brilliant contest with 2018 winner Mathew Orrey.
Mike Bowen, Risbygate club secretary, said: “The quality of the competitors was astounding, made possible by the efforts of Mark Royal and local sponsors including Pro-Flat, GL Cars, Towergate Insurance, Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines, Greene King and Armstrongs Funeral Service.”