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Stamford bowler Ollie Jeapes faces current world indoor singles champion Mark Dawes

Drawn to play against current world indoor singles champion Mark Dawes, this for even an established bowler, would appear pretty daunting experience.

But ten-year-old Stamford bowler Ollie Jeapes took it in his stride and was rewarded by the Blackpool professional giving him a signed England shirt.

The match result was immaterial – in fact Dawes allowed the Chesterton schoolboy just one shot in a two set masterclass – but despite his inexperience, Ollie performed with skill, style and confidence and made his parents and those bowlers watching, proud.

Ollie Jeapes with world champion Mark Dawes.
Ollie Jeapes with world champion Mark Dawes.

Said his dad Michael, a former England Under 25 outdoor singles champion: “It was a remarkable opportunity for Ollie.

“The score didn’t reflect the overall experience for him but the unexpected shirt presentation was a nice gesture from Mark and gave Ollie great encouragement.”

After his defeat – and as the rules stipulate – Ollie acted as marker for a second round match. Not an easy task but by all accounts he did it well.

Elsewhere Michael lost to Spalding’s Jordan Philpott 3-9, 2-7 and Christine Ford was beaten in a tie break by Sleaford’s Paul Roberts after winning the first set.

Tony Barwell was unlucky to be matched against former world champion Nick Brett, losing in straight sets but also took confidence from the experience.

Stephen Harris won his first round match but was beaten by former world semi-finalist Wayne Willgress in two sets.

Spalding’s England international left-hander Graham Smith took the first prize cheque beating current England indoor singles champion Jack Bird in a tense final 7-7, 7-6.

In the first round of the Northants Federation four-bowl singles, Ollie won 21-17 at Peterborough IBC against Ian Smith. His dad beat Ray Keating.

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