Bexhill talent triumphs for England

Top young bowls talent Ajay Morphett was victorious on England duty for the second time in a month.

Ajay Morphett proudly wears his winner's medal.
Ajay Morphett proudly wears his winner's medal.

The Bexhill-based player won the singles competition at the BIIBC (British Isles Indoor Bowls Council) Under-18 International Series in Aberdeen at the weekend and helped England claim the overall team title.

Morphett's success in Scotland came just four weeks after he helped England to victory over Wales in a two-day under-18 outdoor Test match at Barry Athletic Bowls Club.

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In his latest achievement, the 15-year-old was selected to play singles and pairs for England 2 at an event where England, Scotland and Wales each fielded two teams, and Ireland and

Ajay Morphett with his medal, trophy and Lenny the Lion - the England team mascot.

British Lions both supplied one. As well as the singles and pairs, there were triples and fours competitions.

Morphett began his victory charge by defeating Eric Hughes, from Wales 1, 10-3, 8-7 in the quarter-finals, sealing the win with a three on the ninth and final end of the second set, and avoiding having to go to a tie-break as a result.

He returned the following morning to defeat Lewis Betts, of the British Lions, 10-4, 14-7 in the semi-finals. Morphett won six successive ends to go from 2-1 down to 10-2 up in the first set before scoring a two and a four on the final two ends of the second set to finish things off.

The Bexhill Academy pupil clinched the prestigious title by holding his nerve to edge out Reece Miller, from Ireland, on a tie-break in the final later on Sunday morning.

Morphett was in dominant form as he cruised through the first set 11-2, winning all of the last eight ends. But he conceded a three on the opening end of the second set and although he closed to 4-5 after five ends, Miller won the next three ends to take the set 9-5.

In the pairs, Morphett and Devon Cooper lost their quarter-final against Bradley Buchan and Darren Weir, of Scotland 2, on a tie-break despite winning the first set 13-1. They lost the second set 9-5, however, and the tie-break also went against them.

That result put Morphett and Cooper into the section for fifth to eighth places, and their next match, against the British Lions partnership of Betts and Chloe Greechan, couldn't have been any tighter. The first set ended 7-7 and the England 2 duo lost the second 8-7.

Morphett and Cooper then went into the play-off for seventh and eighth, and that match was another close-fought affair. They eventually lost out 6-5, 8-5 to the Wales 2 pairing of Ethan Humphreys and Ryan Davies.

A busy period for the Egerton Park Indoor Bowls Club and Spartan Bowls Club talent will continue with a trip to Melton Mowbray this coming Sunday for the EBYDS National School of Excellence Finals.

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