Last Sunday seven young island bowlers attended the Regional Finals of the EBYDS (English Bowls Youth Development Scheme). Counties eligible to enter this competition are:- Middlesex, Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Surrey & Isle of Wight.
Travis Meller (16), Peter Wheeler(17) and Josh Berry(15) competed against thirteen other 15yrs – 18yr olds for a place in the National Finals being held at Worthing on August 28th.
The Round Robin section of the competition is always tough at this level and with 10 points for a win at stake it helps to get a couple of wins to start building up the points. Peter won two of his games and Travis drew two and won one both securing 20 points at this stage. Josh won a game but lost narrowly in his other games. The afternoon skills section gives the opportunity for all of the competitors to gain up to 144 points. However, these are testing skills and any total close to 100 points is a good achievement. Travis, had little practice building up to the finals because of his competing in the National Senior Finals. However, he scored a creditable 78 points in this section keeping him in contention. Peter, managing only 65 points, finished in a good sixth place, while Josh finished in 12th position overall.
Travis finished in the last four, going on to win his semi-final and narrowly losing the final. However, by finishing in second position he has secured a place in the National Finals.
Ryan Selby (12), Tansy Wheeler (14), Lucas Trigg (14) and Joe Rackstraw (14) competed in the Junior Section, the competition format being the same as the seniors. This was Lucas & Joes’ first attempt at this level. They did very well considering the level of competition, finishing 10th & 15th respectively. Both youngsters won singles games but found the skills difficult on a very fast playing surface.
Both Ryan & Tansy managed to reach the semi-finals, but unfortunately were drawn to play each other. Ryan managed to maintain his form , by beating Tansy, to reach the final, eventually going on to become overall Junior Champion, with Tansy finishing fourth overall. An excellent result for both young players and for the island to have two players in the last four of the Region.
This will be Ryans’ second year at the National Finals, however, this year at Worthing they will be held on outdoor greens. These will be more testing for all those competing and regular practice sessions will be made available for both Travis & Ryan on some of the Isle of Wight outdoor greens this summer, in preparation for the event.
County Coach, Richard Lovell, would like to thank all of the coaches who have given their time in assisting the young bowlers throughout the winter months, preparing them for this competition. Having two of the four Regional representatives from the island in the National Finals is an excellent result for all of the hard work put in by both youngsters and coaches.
Juniors, please note, the final indoor session will be saturday (16th) with the outdoor training starting on Saturday 7th May (10am – 12noon) at Shanklin Bowling Club.
Photo: Back Row – Ryan selby / Travis Meller / Peter Wheeler / Joe Rackstraw Front Row – Tansy Wheeler / Lucas Trigg Not shown – Josh Berry.