It’s jack high for Matt
ROYSTON S Matt Coppen has been crowned the British Junior Singles Bowls Under-25 champion after a memorable competition in Edinburgh. The 16-year-old has set the standards in bowls over the past few years and continued his success with another top draw p
ROYSTON'S Matt Coppen has been crowned the British Junior Singles Bowls Under-25 champion after a memorable competition in Edinburgh.
The 16-year-old has set the standards in bowls over the past few years and continued his success with another top draw performance.
Coppen dismissed Scotland's Andrew Duncan 21-15 in the first round, and then defeated Welsh champion Damian Doubler 21-8 in the semi-final, before seeing off Matt Le Ber of Guernsey with a unnerving 21-9 final victory.
Coppen told The Crow: "It was a great win and I'm really happy to be the UK champion - it was a pretty good feeling!
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"I felt confident going into the competition, but I really wasn't expecting to bring the trophy home. It all just fell into place.
"The results may have looked convincing but they were all very good opposition, particularly the Scottish lad.
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"They are all champions of their respective countries so the standards were very high."
It was the first time Coppen, who plays for Royston Bowls Club, had reached the UK final.
"There was a really good atmosphere up there," he said.
"I had a brilliant time and in the final there was a massive audience which was a great experience.
"To play in front of so many people and win is something I won't forget in a hurry!"
Coppen reached the final after winning the regional and national finals last year.
He said: "It was tough getting to the final, and I had to win a lot of matches to get there. But it's all worth it."
Coppen hopes his win will encourage more youngsters to get involved in the sport, and says there is a lot more to bowls than meets the eye.
He said: "Bowls is actually an exciting game. I started playing when I was 10 after watching my granddad play.
"Six years on, I would never have thought that I would become the UK champion.
"I think a lot of people consider bowls to be an old man's game, but it's really not.
"To be honest that's what I used to think - but nothing beats the adrenaline of being in front of the crowd and winning. It's very entertaining."
The youngster also praised the support he had received from his family, and from his club, where he is the current singles champion.
"It's also nice to win for them because they've given me a lot of support. They're all really pleased for me."
Brian Pepper of Royston Bowls Club said: "Everyone at the club is very proud, and I'm chuffed to bits for him.
"It's not often a club like Royston can claim that they have a British champion in their ranks.
"He's come a long way over the years, and now he's the top boy in the under 25s - he just keeps getting better and better.