Rice fights back to secure Spen Winter Sweep victory
Bailey Rice defied the freezing temperatures to rack up victory in Week Five of the Spen Winter Sweeps last Saturday as he produced a thrilling fight back to overcome Mark Regan in the final.
It was the first of the Sweeps to be truly winter bowling as temperatures plummeted and bowlers were greeted by a frozen green and frosty surrounds, making conditions extremely tricky for the 9.30am starters.
Each of the semi-finalists from the previous week bowed out early — three of the four exiting in the last 32.
This left an open field, with first time semi-final appearances for Michael Heap and Rice.
Heap and Colin Scorah had both seen off some quality players in the earlier rounds, while Regan and Rice continued their terrific form to reach the final.
Regan took control of the final as he raced into a 5-0 lead and continued to dominate to leave Rice in trouble at 10-4.
Regan bowled his lead a yard wide and then uncharacteristically over compensated bowling his next a yard narrow leaving Rice to pick up an easy brace.
Three quick fire singles saw Rice back in it at 10-9, only for Regan to win the six of the next nine points to lead 16-12.
A pivotal moment looked to have come when Rice smashed the jack off the green and then went on to win five of the next six points to leave the game level at 17-17.
Rice chalked up a brace and then, in the final end, Regan glanced the jack slightly when playing over to give Rice a richly deserved win.
Results from Week 5
Preliminary Round: D Hewitt 18, M Regan 21; N Slattery 21, S Edmondson 11; D Bessel 8, D Teale 21; P Burke 16. P Holt 21; M Sweeney 21, D Goodhall 16; M Fowler 21, A Conlon 12; G Coates 21, T Scorah 6; C Bly 21, A Ward 18.
Last 32: G Walker 18, K Smith 21; N Briggs 21, T Riley 18; B Rice 21, S Ladbrooke 20; J Mordue 19, A Tattersley 21; A Thornton 21. F Griffin 16; A Rukin 21. D Reeves 20; C Mordue 16, N Simpson 21; C Scorah 21, J Hynes 13; M Heap 21, A Gallagher 18; L Hirst 8, M Wesley 21; G Wike 2 ,A Forest 4; J Cranston w/o; M Regan 21, N Slattery 20; D Teale 21, P Holt 16; M Sweeney 21, M Fowler 10; G Coates 21, C Bly 18.
Last 16: N Briggs 15, K Smith 21; B Rice 21, A Tattersley 18; A Thornton 21, A Rukin 19; N Simpson 19, C Scorah 21; M Heap 21, M Wensley 16; G Wike 21, J Cranston 14; M Regan 21, D Teale 17; M Sweeney 20, G Coates 21.
Quarter Finals: K Smith 19, B Rice 21; A Thornton 10, C Scorah 21; M Heap 21. G Wike 11; M Regan 21. G Coates 20.
Semi-finals: B Rice 21, C Scorah 12; M Heap 19, M Reagan 21; Final: Rice 21, Regan 17.