Chestney is England star

Gallow Bowls Club’s Jamie Chestney was the toast of his team and their supporters in Cyprus, where he spearheaded England to a fantastic win in the Atlantic bowls championship.

The 24-year-old Norfolk prodigy was presented with three gold medals – singles, triples and team – at the closing ceremony on Sunday night – but the crowning glory was winning the men’s singles title.

In the final, Chestney held a firm grip throughout, before defeating his 29-year-old rival from Wales, Jonathan Tomlinson, 21-16.

“The thing I was most pleased about was that I came through 15 matches in the triples and singles without losing once – and that I was able to help England win the team event,” Chestney said.

Last week, he showed his skill as a skip, steering Somerset’s John Hick and Wiltshire’s Graham Shadwell to victory in the triples, but it was his mastery of line and length that was so clear in the singles.

Fast-tracked into the semi-finals as a reward for finishing on top of his group table, Chestney found Jersey’s Malcolm de Sousa a difficult opponent, but broke a 15-15 deadlock to win, 21-15.

In the final, he was 11-4 ahead after eight ends, and powered into a 20-11 lead after 18 ends, when Tomlinson dug in his heels, scoring a single and a full house of four shots to make it 20-16.

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But a winning single on the 21st end sealed a great fortnight for the young Norfolk star, who has certainly repaid the national selectors’ faith in him.

“They gave me a chance to show what I can do, and I think you could say I took my opportunity,” smiled Chestney.