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Bowls - Silver double for Ryan on international bow
3:17pm Friday 26th October 2012 in Sport
MALVERN Hills Indoor Bowls Club’s Ryan Atkins picked up two silver medals and helped England win the team title on his international debut.
The 17-year-old travelled to Stanley, County Durham, for the British Isles Indoor Council Under 18s International Championships as triples skip and singles competitor.
In his first game, he led Lloyd Sabbatini and Sarah Grove, from Essex and City of Ely respectively, to a tie-break quarter-final win over the Channel Islands.
They recorded a comfortable two-set win over Scotland in the semis before taking on a formidable Irish trio, skipped by Steve Coleman, in the final. In a much tougher game, Ireland won the first set 5-3 but England came back to win the second 7-6. However, in a decisive tie-break, Atkins missed the Irish shot bowl by a fraction to lose the game, leaving the English triple competition with a creditable silver medal.
He then opened his singles account by defeating Scotland’s Jordan Slavin 10-8, 9-6 in the quarter-finals.
Atkins hit top form against Irish youngster Reece Millar, thrashing him 11-1, 19-1 to reach the final and guarantee England the overall team championship in the process.
In a high-quality final, he won the first set 8-5 and looked odds-on to win but Scotland’s Greg McLaughlin fought back to win the second 11-5 and force a tie-break shootout.
McLaughlin gained the one shot required to win the gold, leaving Atkins with his second silver medal of the tournament.