Twin Dragons


They say trouble comes in threes, but if you add another one, you have Wales' 'Twin Dragons' not the fire breathing kind, although Leighton's love of curry 'the spicier the better' could be a future asset to Welsh bowls.

Our four characters this time, Leighton Roberts and twin Keiron and Kelsey Morgan Rowlands and twin Katelyn all acknowledge the major role their respective fathers ( Derek Roberts and Gary Rowlands) have played in getting them started in bowls and who continue to support them. Both sets of twins also point to Geoff Pugh, Colin Seale and Darren Lacey who have encouraged them to improve their game and also to all their families and team mates.

At one time, Wales had twins in the Seniors, Juniors and Ladies.

Asked how much they play bowls, they all agree they probably play ' too much'. When you look at the number of Clubs the boys have played for in the past and still play for some eight or nine clubs between them with the girls a modest two. I'm surprised they've had time for anything else. As Kelsey says 'Esclusham is like a second home' and Leighton admits ' I have a very understanding girlfriend'.

These young'uns are no strangers to organisation and graft either with Keiron having served as Captain at one time and Greenkeeper for Ifton BC. Katelyn is Captain of the Esclusham B Pairs team and in her second year at the job.

All four are very humble about their bowls successes, but can list the Welsh Senior Merit, Welsh Ladies Merit, Isle of Man Festival, numerous singles and doubles titles in Wrexham and Flintshire, Division A Merit winner and as part of the Esclusham team that won the British Super Cup in 2016 among them.

I asked them if they play doubles together and got a resounding 'NO'.As expected, they all said they argue too much, so in the interests of family harmony they play with other partners.

They all accept that no game is ever easy with comments such as, ' It's all on the day' and 'You have to play at your best, always'.

However, there is justifiable pride from them all.

Leighton got ' a massive high winning the Welsh Senior Merit ' in 2015 and for Kelsey who won the Welsh Ladies Merit 2016 ' I'll never forget seeing people crying with happiness because I won. It was crazy.'

On the 'bucket list', Kelsey and Katelyn would both like to win the British Ladies Merit and the Ladies Waterloo 'When you wish upon a star'(Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio)

Leighton has his eye on the Welsh Senior Merit ' a few more times' and would like to win some bigger tournaments out of the area to establish himself as one of the best bowlers Wales has produced. He has already been told that he is on his way to achieving this dream.

Keiron's ambitions included winning the Welsh Senior Merit.

'I'd like to follow in my brother's footsteps in the Welsh Merit'. As our 2017 Merit Champion, I think that ones' in the bag.

Twins winning their county merit. Is this a first in British Crown Green bowls? Answers on a postcard please.

Finding down time from bowls, work and study must be hard, but Keiron manages to fit in some football, darts, golf, and fishing, whilst brother Leighton enjoys football and cycling. For the girls, retail therapy is high on the list.

Music tastes include Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Arctic Monkeys, Whitney Houston and James Arthur, whilst comedy and action films are firm favourites. OK Katelyn. Disney has both. Right?

Whilst Kelsey and Katelyn don't have any foods they particularly enjoy, Leighton likes things 'spicy' and for Keiron, ' I love my food, the bigger the portion, the better'.

As one can imagine, they have a few nicknames between them 'Twin' or 'Twinnie' are popular so is Lato and Kee. Kelsey has been dubbed 'Wrecker Rowlands' by fellow team mate Dave 'Rocky' Jones. 'I don't know why, but it's stuck'. You'll have to ask Rocky about that one.

They are a well balanced bunch with personalities all their own. Neither of the lads feel they get stressed and seem to have lighthearted characters and reputations as jokers. Leighton counts himself as a relaxed person, but likes a holiday in the sun, whilst twin Keiron can get a bit anxious when he knows he is not bowling as good as he can.

Kelsey does admit to getting stressed at times, but loves to have twin Katelyn to talk things over with. They all appreciate having a great network of family and friends to call on if necessary. Kate chills out to Disney 'I wanna be like you' ( Baloo in Jungle Book Yeah?)

Both boys and Katelyn work locally and appreciate that their jobs allow them to play bowls as often as they can. Kelsey is in her first year at Salford University studying Podiatry ( a branch of medicine devoted to the study and treatment of foot and ankle disorders.) 'I don't know what attracted me. I've always had an interest. I particularly enjoy the medical side of the course.' Another 'feet' to be achieved, I'd say.

If each of the twins has a word of advice to pass on to other players, Leighton's would be, ' Always aim to do better and don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.' Keiron's advice is 'Don't get hung up if you lose a couple of games. Move on to the next one.'

Kelsey wants others to 'Make sure you enjoy bowls and don't let anyone tell you you can't do something.'

Katelyn says ' Never underestimate any player: it's all on the day.' Then 'Let it go' (Elsa from 'Frozen')

It is evident our 'Twin Dragons' are very aware of how lucky they are. They take being part of a team seriously and have witnessed the difficulties in encouraging young people to take up the game. Katelyn is unhappy that the perception of bowls is still one of 'an old mans' game, whilst Kelsey would love to see more co operation between schools and clubs. Both Leighton and Keiron appreciate the work undertaken by organisers of tournaments and county matches and see the coverage on TV and other media as vital. Leighton particularly mentioned his disappointment at seeing good players and teams leaving the game, but they are all optimistic about the future.

I'm sure if careers and commitments allow, we will see all four taking a much more active role in the organisation of bowls in Wales. After all the future of the game is theirs. If they continue to be passionate about their sport, from developing their own game skills to encouraging others to play and to take an active part in bowls in other ways, the future is looking bright.