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Information Provided by Tony Atkins at

Torquay United’s Sam and Sophie Tolchard have arguably created a little bit of history this season after 21-year-old Sophie joined her brother as a double international...writes Tony Atkins.

Already capped at U25 level, Sophie impressed at the senior international trial at Melton Mowbray to win selection for the British Isles Series at Stanley in March where she will lead for former club mate Sian Gordon.

Sophie’s elevation to the England senior team is well deserved and she now emulates her brother who has been an integral part of the senior international side as well as the England U25 team that he captained twelve months ago.

Sam is a past winner of the England U25 singles title and the world mixed under 25 pairs in Malaysia. Last season both he and Sophie were members of the Torquay United team that won the England U25 inter-club double rink championship for the second time in three years.

Last season Sam and Sophie starred in the TLH Top Club Trophy where Torquay United went one better than their runners-up spot in 2010 by beating Barwell in the final.

Former Somerset star and current double international Louis Ridout is enjoying his first season at Torquay along with fellow international Jamie Chestney.

The 26-year-old Chestney, who won bronze at the world outdoor championships in Australia, is a past holder of the England indoor pair’s title with former club mate Mervyn King (Gallow).

Chestney made his England U25 debut in 2005 and won the national junior singles title twelve months later, followed by the world crown.

Both players have proved popular additions to the playing staff at Torquay United with Ridout still travelling from his current home in Ilminster, Somerset to turn out for his new club.


Two former England internationals at Torquay United who can still perform at the highest level are John Evans and 1986 England U31 singles champion Danny Denison.

Evans won the National fours back in 1977 with former club Torbay and more recently, in 2011, teamed up with Torquay club mates Lloyd Roberts and Griff Sanders to win the triples, beating Bletchley in the final.

Both Evans and Denison were in the Devon team that last won the Liberty Trophy inter-county championships in 1993. Both players have hugely impressive careers outdoors with Evans having Commonwealth silver and world championship medals to his credit.

Barbara Bellamy, an England regular for seven years, missed out on selection this winter but could well be back in the reckoning in 2014. Three years ago, Barbara linked up with Terri Kennard, Ruth Rogers and skip Sian Gordon to capture the England fours title and twelve months later all four ladies, representing England, won the British Isles title.

Torquay continue to promote junior bowls and among the rising young stars in the club are Will Stevens, and 15-year-olds’ Harry Goodwin, Jack Smith and Kieran Kniveton.


Winter Opening Times
Mon 09:30 to 22:30
Tues 09:30 to 22:30
Wed 09:30 to 22:30
Thur 09:30 to 22:30
Fri 09:30 to 22:30
Sat 09:30 to 22:30
Sun 09:30 to 22:30