Juniors 2018 Season
WALES 441 V DERBYSHIRE 384
Home at Llanfair PG BC and Away at Kings Newton, Sunday 9th September 2018
Wales Takes Bronze.
The new grouping arrangements for the Drakes Pride British Junior County Championship this season meant the Welsh Junior team played their last match on Sunday 9th September.
The Home leg was played at Llanfair PG BC and the Away venue was Kings Newton, Derbyshire. At Home, Deputy President, Dave Mathias welcomed everyone for the afternoon tie. A minute silence was also observed for two bowlers known to most, who passed away recently – Arthur Ollerton ( Rhos Park ) and Andy Jones ( Hawkesbury ). Referee for the Home match was Graham Pickavance (Lancs) and he was assisted by Derek Evans and Ian Black.
The first four blocks set the confident tone of the afternoon. The best win at this stage came from Ryan P Williams ( Penmaenmawr) with 21-11 at the number two spot. Ryan Rogers ( Min y Don), Finley Prytherch ( Caernarfon ) and Daniel Owen ( Beaumaris ) all scored well. In the second four, Harry Lawton ( Rhos Park ) had the toughest battle against his opponent. After being well down, Harry showed he was the 'come back king' by pulling the game level at the middle stage. He lost out 21-20. Hanna Williams-Jones ( Caernarfon ) returned an excellent 21-8 win and Rhys Boulton ( Penrhyn New Hall ) gave the side another single figure win 21-5. In the final four Finley Hombrey ( Fron Park ), Ben Hewitt ( Abergele ) and Nia Jones ( Coed Talon ) all came away with single figure wins – 21-5, 21-2 and 21-8 respectively. Nia Jones, who plays for the Welsh Ladies as well as the Junior side has had an exceptional season at County level dropping only one game. This also earned her the Player of the Match Award for the Home side.
Home Score Wales 238 – Derbyshire 144.
At the Away venue, the team were not so fortunate with only two wins, Matty Worden Gresford Colliery ) 21-17 and Joe Hayes ( Cunliffe ) 21-14. However, the rest of the team kept the spirit of success alive and did their job keeping the aggregate score in Wales' favour.
Away Score Wales 203 – Derbyshire 240.
Wales Juniors, therefore, end the 2018 season in third place in the Junior County Championship. There will be a few significant changes to the team next year when we lose some of our well established players. Any team is always a work in progress with losses and gains. Support from Coaches, Selectors and parents continues.
Home Player of the Match Nia Jones
BRITISH JUNIOR MERIT
Netherseal Bowling Club, 18th August 2018
The phrase 'It's Coming Home' has been bandied about in sporting circles all summer. As a country, we can truly say this as the British Junior Merit Trophy returned to Wales at the weekend with a brilliant victory for Matthew Worden ( Gresford Colliery ). Together with Sam Williams ( Cunliffe ), they represented Wales at the competition which was held this year at Netherseal Bowling Club in Derbyshire. The event was hosted by the Deputy British President 2018 Graham Jackson.
Sam was not so lucky, going out in the early part of the competition. Three times WCGBA Junior Merit winner, the British title has always eluded him. Never mind, Sam. Go for the Senior title instead. No pressure !
The field of 32 players from across the crown green bowling world included a few unfamiliar faces and names. Matthew got his campaign off to a good start with a 21-8 win against Mark Bushell ( Cheshire ) in the first round. He had a nail biting second game with Nathan Crocombe the Warwick and Worcester 2018 Junior champion. Matthew eventually triumphed 21-20. In the quarter final there were no such nerves with a comfortable 21-9 success over Owen Turner ( Merseyside ). In the semi final Matthew, playing Shropshire's Harry Church, won 21-11 and secured his place in the final.
This year saw a girl take her place in the final of the British Junior |Merit for the first time. Young Shannon Kernick ( Warwick and Worcester ) had played well all day, in particularly a medium length mark across the green. Matthew had varied his game throughout the day with both long and short marks. This was to prove decisive in the final. Shannon, having won the toss, led out, making for the mark that she had played so well. She began to stretch quite a lead, when Matthew secured the jack and changed the mark. With some excellent bowling from both players the mark changed from long to short, with Matthew setting some eyewatering marks deep into the corners. Eventually Matthew was lying 20-17 up. It really could have gone either way. Matthew held his nerve as Shannon came up with her final bowl. He'd done it, 21-17.
WALES 350 V YORKSHIRE 455
Home at Bersham BC and Away at Golcar Liberal Club, Sunday 12th August 2018
The penultimate match of this years Drakes Pride Junior County Championship was played on Sunday 12th August. The Home venue was Bersham Sports and Social Club and the Away side visited Golcar Liberal Club. President Brenda Jones welcomed everyone from Yorkshire.
Yorkshire is always a hard opponent in the championship, and this match was to be no different. A change in the weather conditions took away any advantage the Wales team had.
However, there were some excellent performances from Wales and this was commented on by both the Referee, Peter Fishwick and the Yorkshire Deputy President, Alan Stephenson who came with the young team to Bersham.
At the Home venue, the first four showed how difficult it was going to be. Some excellent woods were being beaten by even better ones. Matty Worden (Gresford Colliery ) won his game 21-18 with Jess Lacey and Ieuan Pugh ( Esclusham ) and Josh Venables ( Llay) not so lucky. In the middle four, Keira Edwards (Johnstown ) had a mammoth game, and was unlucky to lose 21-19. James Todd ( Conwy) had the best win 21-4. The last four on the green kept the suspense going. A victory for the Welsh side was not going to happen, but personal pride made for some brilliant bowling. Nathan Lacey ( Exclusham ) was most unlucky to lose 21-12 after putting up some stunning woods in his game. Young Kieron Hallett (Llay ) gave us an excellent performance with a 21-11 win and earned him the Player of the Match award. He remained calm and unflappable throughout his match and it was a pleasure to watch. Captain Sam Williams ( Cunliffe ) came in with a 21-12 win with an assured, cool and professional performance.
Home Score Wales 191 Yorkshire 213.
The Away side also found the going a challenge. It was decided to try the usual Home team at an Away venue for the first time. Our winners included Ryan Rogers ( Min y Don ) with 21-19, Ryan P Williams ( Penmaenmawr ) 21-19 and the best win Captain Ben Hewitt ( Abergele ) 21-15.
Away Score Wales 159 Yorkshire 242.
Whatever the result, Juniors, especially, are their own fiercest critics and deserve our full and unconditional support. The final game of the Championship will be played against Derbyshire next month.
Home Player of the Match Keiron Hallett
WALES 438 V SHROPSHIRE 398
Home at Craig-y-Don BC and Away at Bridgewater, Sunday 8th July 2018
Wales played Shropshire in their second full match of this season. The Home venue was Craig-y-Don and the Away leg Bridgewater, Small Green in Whitchurch. At the Away game, Welsh President Brenda Jones was there to support and we were welcomed by Shropshire President 2018, Isobel Jones. Referee on the day was Fred Huxley from Cheshire.
Matches played at all levels with Shropshire are relished by both counties. The first four got off to a slow start. Matty Worden ( Gresford Colliery ) had a tough time and eventually lost to 21-16. Jess Lacey ( Esclusham ) had a battle with her opponent to lose 21-20. Keira Edwards ( Johnstown ) had a disappointing end to her game, from good lead at the start she lost 21-19. Josh Venables ( Llay ) gave us something to cheer about in his excellent win 21-13. In the second four, it looked like the disappointments were set to continue, but James Todd (Conwy) won his game resoundingly to 21-2 and Mathew Stevenson ( Johnstown ) was not to be outdone and won his match 21-6. Ieuan Pugh ( Esclusham ) followed suit with a 21-8 win and Kieron Hallett ( Llay ) played well to win 21-16. Nathan Lacey ( Esclusham ) was unlucky not to stretch a good lead, but he held both his nerve and his opponent to end, like his sister, Jess on a 21-20 loss.
Player of the match was presented to James Todd. Away scores. Wales 215 Shropshire 189.
At the home venue Wales made steady progress all afternoon. Three good wins in the first four, Ryan Rogers ( Min-y-Don ) 21-9, the best win of the day, Ryan P Williams ( Penmaenmawr ) 21-15 and Rhys Boulton ( Penrhyn New Hall ) 21-20. Harry Lawton ( Rhos Park) also had one of the best wins at Craig-y-Don 21-14. Good wins by Ben Hewitt ( Abergele ) 21-15, Finley Hormbrey ( Fron Park ) 21-16 and Nia Jones ( Coed Talon ) all ensured a Wales victory overall.
Home scores. Wales 213 Shropshire 209 Wales won the match by 30 points.
Player of the Match Away, James Todd (Conwy)
Benllech Bowling Club, 27th May 2018
It was definitely a case of 'thunderbolt and lightning' at the Welsh Junior Merit at Benllech on Sunday 27th May. Deputy President, Dave Mathias was our host with Referees DT Evans, Arthur Peake and Alan Davies. This year we had a smaller number of entries than previous occasions with a field of 24 players from across North Wales. The weather was blustery with light rain as the games got underway in the preliminary round. As the rain eased and everyone settled down for the competition, the following names went through to the last 16 – Ben Hewitt, Ieuan Pugh, Harry Lawton, James Todd, Nathan Lacey, Mathew Worden, C Parry and Zack Hayward. These would be joined by Sam Williams, J Hall, Finley Hornbury, Jo Hayes, Jess Lacey, Hedd Owen, Keira Edwards and Cody Edwards.
In round two, Ben Hewitt met Ieuan Pugh. Ieuan set up a good lead of 13-8 before Ben regained the jack to pick up a few more points. Ieuan was not going to give up his lead and won the game 21-18. One of the closest games was Jess Lacey against Hedd Owen. Both players played the green well and Jess began to nudge ahead 14-12. She stretched her lead to 18-15 before Hedd pulled level at 20 across. It was going to be heart breaking for one of them as the final end had to be a measure. Hedd was just in. Also squaring up were two seasoned players, Harry Lawton and James Todd. Some highly accurate striking in the early part of the game by James kept the lid on Harry's skills. At the mid stage of the game, it was very close.
At this point, Mother Nature decided to intervene with a thunderstorm. After only a few minutes, the green was pooled in places. Lightning forced the players and everyone else to take shelter. The down pour eased slightly, and it was hoped that play could be resumed. Club groundsmen, members and spectators helped to disperse water from the green, but it was only a lull before more thunder and lightning. After almost an hour it looked no better and news reached Benllech that there was more heading our way. Reluctantly a joined decision by players, parents, officials and green keepers meant the 2018 Junior merit would need to be abandoned at this stage.
1st July - Welsh Junior Merit 2018 ( continued )
The remaining competitors from this abandoned championship gathered together at Benllech to resume play. The weather couldn't have been more different from that at the start of the tournament five weeks ago. There were three games to finish from last time. James Todd and Harry Lawton's game had finished 18-14 to James. Play resumed, and Harry edged back to 18-17 before James tied the game up with a 21-17 win. Ieuan Pugh was already through. Cerys Parry met Zac Heywood, both of them finding the dry fast conditions a challenge. Zac won the game 21-14. Matty Worden faced Nathan Lacey and won his game 21-12.
In the next round, Sam Williams stormed away to win his match 21-4 leaving Finley Hornbury and the rest of us dazed. The remaining girl in the competition, Keira Edwards had an excellent game with Hedd and beat him 21-10. This brought her the Wales Junior Ladies title for 2018 and qualifies her to represent Wales at the British Junior Ladies competition next month.
James Todd met Ieuan Pugh. James was down at the start but managed to edge his way back to win the game 21-17. Matty Worden took a commanding lead over Zac Heywood right from the start and won his game 21-3. Keira played Sam Williams in an excellent game. Sam managed to stay ahead, but only just, and won the game 21-16. Sam was through to another final.
Matty Worden met James Todd in the second semi final. Both managed to keep the other from getting too far ahead with some excellent bowling. Matty playing some really tricky marks just to the crown and over. When James got the block, he pushed his opponent into the corners. Matty eventually won 21-16.
The final between Sam and Matty treated the spectators to some brilliant bowling. This is only Matty's second appearance in the Welsh Junior Merit. Sam, who looked as though he meant business all day, was looking for his third title. Both players had mastered the green well and there was little in it at the start. Each player changing the length as he took control of the jack. Sam, however stayed just in the lead all the way, and gained his hat trick of three successive wins 21-16. Sam and
Winner Sam Williams and VP Dave Mathias
Finalists Sam and Matty Worden
Wales Junior Ladies Winner, Keira Edwards
Who knew Benllech green could flood
WALES 372 V WARWICK & WORCESTER 423
Home at Llandudno Oval BC and Away at Kings Norton BC, Sunday 10th June 2018
At Home, Deputy Welsh President, Dave Mathias was the host and he welcomed BCGBA Deputy President for 2018, Mr Graham Jackson and his wife Glen. It was also nice to see former BCGBA CEO John Crowther with us, always a good supporter of Wales. The Referee was Peter Fishwick assisted by Arthur Peake and Alan Davies from Wales. Co ordinator Phil Maddox and Past President Dusia Price and Patron John Percy all helped to run the event.
It was very much a case of 'swings and roundabouts' for both teams at the Home venue. Some impressive leads disappeared as the opponent gained the jack and the feel of the green as it changed over the course of the afternoon. In the first four, Ryan P Williams ( Penmaenmawr ) could do no wrong with an excellent 21-5 win. This, rightly, earned him the Player of the Match Award. There were good performances from Richard Jones ( Penrhyn New Hall ) and Nia Jones ( Coed Talon.). Young Hannah Williams-Jones ( Caernarfon ) showed tremendous cool under pressure towards the close of her game against Nathan Crocombe to win 21-18. Old hand Ieuan Pugh ( Esclusham ) showed how it should be done with a 21-10 win at the number 12 spot, playing to the crowd like a pro. Wales eventually lost by 15 points at Home. Wales 182 – W&Wor 197
At the Away venue the best win came from another practiced hand – Sam Williams ( Cunliffe ) who won 21-10, Kieron Hallet won to 21-16, Josh Venables won 21-12 and Jess Lacey pulled a 21-20 win out of the hat – definitely one to watch. Wales scored 190 and W& Wor 226.
Wales Juniors have another three matches to play in the group and can take comfort in the knowledge that they held their own well against one of the tougher sides in this years line up.
Player of the Match at Home, Ryan P Williams ( Penmaenmawr )
JUNIOR PRACTICE East v West
Oval Bowling Club, Llandudno 13th May 2018
Sunday 13th May should have marked the start of the Welsh Junior campaign for the 2018 British Junior County title. Due to the group arrangement this year, Wales are in a group of five. This meant our Juniors had an open date. However, the opportunity to get all potential players together for a friendly was too good to miss and this was held at the Oval Bowling Club, Llandudno.
All in all there were some 45 juniors. These came from the east of Wales, Wrexham and Flintshire Areas and from the West, Glyndwr and Gwynedd. The event was managed by Selectors Dave Jones, Kevin Stephenson and Jay Salisbury. Practice was scheduled from 12 noon and the match got underway at one. President Brenda Jones was there to support the occasion and the Referee was Derek Evans.
Among the participants were several seasoned players and for some this was their first chance to join up with team mates from previous years. There were plenty of new faces too, and if the enthusiasm of all those taking part is anything to go by, Wales has a healthy Junior uptake. The weather was perfect and the green in excellent condition. Most of the games were close or very close and all the juniors who took part can take a pat on the back. There was good support and encouragement from family members as we have come to expect.
It never ceases to amaze me how confident these young players seem to be. For some, it was their first experience of a large match event and they handled themselves well.
Everyone took something positive away with them. Seasoned players reconnected with their competitive spirit at county level, new players got a taste of things to come and the selectors had a host of new talent to tap into.
West - Glyndwr and Gwynnedd
East - Flintshire and Wrexham