A talented young bowler from Bexhill is basking in the glory of winning a national indoor competition.
Ajay Morphett, of Egerton Park Indoor Bowls Club, clinched the Under-15 Singles title at The National Championships in Spalding last weekend.
I was delighted with it and it’s definitely my biggest achievementAjay Morphett
He said: “I was delighted with it and it’s definitely my biggest achievement. I thought I played pretty well.”
Morphett was one of eight players from around the country who had qualified for the national finals by coming through local and area rounds, and they were initially split into two groups of four.
The 13-year-old topped his group by winning all three of his matches by two sets to nil, including the one against group runner-up Emily Corner (Yeovil).
Morphett then took on Luke Nicholls (North Cave), winner of the other group, in the final. The opening set ended 7-7, but Morphett won the second 8-4 for a 1.5-0.5 victory in front of the watching national selectors.
The Bexhill High School student was two shots up going into the last end and he held two to seal the win, although he admitted he didn’t realise he had won when his opponent shook his hand.
“I was a little bit nervous, but I knew I could win it,” continued Morphett. “I didn’t bowl as well in the final as I did in the round-robin, but I did alright.”
The promising young player contested more than 50 ends of bowling during a long day in Lincolnshire and maintained his record of not dropping a set in the entire competition despite waking up with a nasty headache following a poor night’s sleep.
“I didn’t have a good sleep at all,” Morphett went on. “I couldn’t get to sleep because of my dad’s snoring and I had a really uncomfortable bed so we had to swap beds!”
Morphett’s dream is to one day bowl for England and Sussex County Indoor Bowls Association (SCIBA) honorary secretary Tony Phillips believes that ambition will soon become a reality.
He wrote on the SCIBA website: “This is a fantastic result for Ajay, whose bowls career goes from strength to strength and I’m sure it won’t be long before he is playing for his country in future international events.
“He’s a cracking little bowler, competitive and up for any challenge. The win is thoroughly deserved and reflects well on Sussex County IBA, but particularly on the system used by Egerton Park to bring their youngsters on.
“I believe we will see great things from Ajay and I look forward to following his upward path as he grows older. We have every confidence it’s only a matter of a couple of years before he really hits the big time.”
Morphett bowls outdoors for Spartan BC and he is aiming to win a title at the Bexhill Open Bowls Tournament this summer.