Mervyn King and Jamie Chestney feature in narrow England defeat

Gallow Bowls Club duo Mervyn King and Jamie Chestney gave everything to England’s bid to retain the British indoor bowls team title in Swansea at the weekend – and were gutted when the Scots stole it from the proud holders.

And the atmosphere turned nasty when an English skip refused to shake hands with his opponents, after the Scottish team invaded the green to celebrate before the etiquette of the situation had been observed.

Playing third, King turned in his usual sound performance throughout the series, helping Nick Brett to record two fine wins in three matches, their only defeat coming against Ireland.

Brett’s quartet opened with a 26-9 win over a Welsh rink skipped by Commonwealth Games champion Rob Weale, lost 19-12 to Brendan Thompson, who had BBC commentator David Corkill at third man.

They finished the series in style with a cracking 21-9 victory over five-times world champion Alex Marshall.

King’s young Gallow clubmate Chestney, who recently moved to Devon, skipped his rink to two victories, piling up the shots against Wales and Ireland, but slipping up in his third match against Scotland.

Looking invincible, Chestney, supported by Geordie Brett Arkley, new cap Paul Simpson, and Northants ace Neil McKee, beat Wales, 30-15, and Ireland, 24-9, before losing to Scotland, 23-10.

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England, who demolished the host country in the opening match, 137-108, struggled a bit against Ireland, but still won, 105-94, and embarked on the final session unbeaten – then proceeded to establish what looked like a winning lead against Scotland.

In a close encounter, England finished strongly, and led by seven shots with just four ends to play across the green, but unaccountably dropped eight shots, lost 105-106, and waved goodbye to the Hilton Trophy.