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.

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.

Article written by Jeanette Higham, WCGBA Press Officer