Matt Ives is king of the county

JPCT 230413 S13170351x Matt Ives, the new Sussex County Champion. Bowls. -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 230413 S13170351x Matt Ives, the new Sussex County Champion. Bowls. -photo by Steve Cobb

Matt Ives of Horsham Indoor Bowls Club is the new County Singles champion after a masterful display in the final.

Taking on Keith Cheetham in the Sussex final, Matt stormed to a 21-10 victory to lift the top county prize for the first time.

Matt, from Pulborough said: “I was over the moon to win it for the first time. I played really well and never really felt in danger of losing.

“It was close at one stage at 7-7, but after that I managed to get my nose in front and stayed well ahead.”

Matt had to win five inter-club matches last year just to first qualify, and then five more tough matches to lift the prestigious trophy.

“I’ve won other events but this tops all of them because it’s the pinnacle of singles competition really,” Matt said, while also thanking wife Leamme for her continued support throughout the competition.

It caps a fine start to the year for Matt, who reached the last 16 of the national pairs with partner and club-mate David Miller three weeks ago. Having made the last 32 out of the whole country to reach the finals at Nottingham, the pair knocked out an England international before losing the next match.

Matt has been a member of Horsham since the age of 14, but at 30 he is one of the younger members of the club. He added: “There’s this stigma with bowls that it’s an old people’s sport but at this level of competition you find a lot of younger players taking part as well.”

Horsham IBC held its end of season competitions over two weekends, full results Pages 108-109.