Just champion

PUBLISHED: 11:01 02 August 2007 | UPDATED: 15:12 12 May 2010

Matt Coppen

Matt Coppen

ROYSTON S sporting future looks bright, with two of the town s most promising young sportsmen shining once again. After becoming the British Junior Singles Bowls Under-25 champion last month, 16-year-old Matt Coppen has added to his growing trophy cabine

Bradley Evans

ROYSTON'S sporting future looks bright, with two of the town's most promising young sportsmen shining once again.

After becoming the British Junior Singles Bowls Under-25 champion last month, 16-year-old Matt Coppen has added to his growing trophy cabinet the county under-25s singles crown and the under-30s title.

Coppen was "delighted" with the double triumph.

He said: "Ater winning the under-25 title last year I knew what to expect. I'm really happy and have worked really hard to get where I have."

Coppen beat Harpenden's Simon Burgess 21-8 in the under-25 final, and Hertford's Andrew Penfold 21-0 in the under-30 final.

Meanwhile, talented boxer Bradley Evans has also become a British champion, winning the GB Junior Boxing Championships, beating Welsh Junior ABA runner-up Joshua Roach in uncompromising fashion.

The 18-year-old took the gold medal in style, and never let his opponent rest, with a flurry of body shots and hooks to the ribs.

Evans' guile and determination was too much for Roach, who hit the canvas and took a standing count, and the Welsh youngster's corner eventually threw in the towel.

Former Meridian student Evans said: "It was probably one of my best fights and I was quite surprised at how comfortable it was.

"Every shot seemed to connect, and on the night everything fell into place. It was a really proud moment."

Junior ABA champion Evans, who boxes for Stevenage ABC, is one of the most highly-rated young boxers in the UK.

And his win at the weekend has propelled him into the British cadets reckoning, with assessments taking place in Sheffield over the next two weeks.

"I'm looking forward to it, but it will be hard," said Evans.

If he can make it into the squad, it will be a giant step forward in achieving his goal of representing Great Britain at the Olympics.

He said: "My aim is to go to the Olympics. Beijing is a bit too soon for me, so I've got to be looking at London in 2012.

"I'm confident I can get the coaches and selectors to notice me, so hopefully I can impress them in the ring."

Youngsters in the area continue to excel in athletics, basketball, hockey, boxing, swimming, shooting and tennis, and come 2012 there might be more flying the British flag.


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