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Holmes sweet home for the Kings Chase man who skips fours to a Leamington date

PUBLISHED: 09:30 21 July 2018

King's Chase fours (left to right) Jamie Holmes,, Mark Hodges, Conway Fleming and Brian Payne made it to Leamington

King's Chase fours (left to right) Jamie Holmes,, Mark Hodges, Conway Fleming and Brian Payne made it to Leamington

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Four-midable Brentwood boys beat Grays Town

Jamie Holmes of Kings Chase looks on in the triples against Wanstead CentralJamie Holmes of Kings Chase looks on in the triples against Wanstead Central

It is fair to say Jamie Holmes has transformed Kings Chase and he is loving every minute of it, writes Dave Evans.

The former Romford bowler, who tended to concentrate on indoor bowls to a high standard, stepped out into the light this summer to play outdoors for the Brentwood club and they haven’t looked back.

At the Essex semi-finals in Westcliff on Saturday, Kings Chase were in the triples and fours, with Holmes skipping both teams.

The triples turned out to be a real battle between Holmes and Lee Chaplin of Wanstead Central, someone he knows only too well.

“It was a really enjoyable game,” said Holmes, who played with Conway Fleming and Brian Payne.

“I have known Lee a long time, I taught him. He used to play indoors with me in the fours and he played with me at Romford.

“It is nice to see them come on, though it is a bit annoying when it is against you!”

The teams were well matched at 8-8, but then Chaplin stepped up a gear to haul Central to a 14-8 lead.

They eventually won it 19-13 to leave Kings Chase another chance in the fours against a team from Grays Town.

Mark Hodges was added to the triples team as lead and things quickly clicked.

“It was impressive and everyone played really well,” said Holmes. “Mark settled on a short jack so we went with that because he looks comfortable.

“Conway backed him up and Brian did what he had to do.”

All the time, Holmes was there to add the shots as an 11-4 lead turned into 17-8.

“We got a big five and that is what makes the difference,” added Holmes. “But we had those chances in the triples and Lee took them away from us.”

In the end, Kings Chase won by an emphatic 24-10 margin to make the final against Writtle on July 28.

And for Holmes it has been an incredible renaissance in his outdoor bowls life.

“I am just happy to get these boys to Leamington,” he said.

“It is a different kettle of fish to what I was used to and what I had at Romford.

“Kings Chase is a social club, there are only 30 members and since I have been here it has been good.

“It is a different stage of my life. I have got a kid now and no disrespect, but Malcolm Stark has just come up and said I am putting you forward for an England trial and I said ‘no thanks’ – it is not what I want.

“I have different priorities. I have a daughter. I know what it was like for me growing up with parents who both played and them not really being there for me.

“They were there but not in a certain way, but in a different capacity I was on my own.

“But now I am there for my daughter, I can make sure she does her homework. I’ve been there, I have been an England reserve and stuff like that, now I just want the social side.”

It seems like Holmes is a content man nowadays and he is transforming the Brentwood club along the way.

“It is our best season for a long time and I don’t like to blow my own trumpet, but we are getting new members down there off the back of me being there,” he added.

It looks like Kings Chase may well be a real force in the future.

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