UNDER 18 THREE BOWL PAIRS – LLANDRINDOD WELLS - SUNDAY 11th JUNE 2017.
The County were represented at the above event by the following players:-
Tomos Bolton – Graig Merthyr
Chaad Bowling - Graig Merthyr
Ben Matthews – Graig Merthyr
Jordan Driscoll – Kidwelly Town
There were two sections in the initial stage of the competition with every pair playing four games of 11 ends. Both Carmarthen County pairs were drawn in different sections.
Tomos and Chaad played in Section A of the competition. In the opening game against Montgomeryshire, with the green not running as quickly as expected all four players struggled for consistency. This was reflected in the fact that neither team was able to establish a comfortable lead during the game. However, both Tomos and Chaad dug in and were able to secure a narrow one shot victory.
Carmarthen County 9 Montgomeryshire 8
The win in the first game enabled Tomos and Chaad to move forward with much more confidence in their second game against South Glamorgan. Both Carmarthen County players showed a far greater level of consistency and even though the end result was another one shot victory, Tomos and Chaad always appeared to be in control of the game and secured a deserved victory.
Carmarthen County 9 South Glamorgan 8
Entering the third round of games, there were three unbeaten teams in the group. Last year’s winners Joe Coles and Dylan Hockings from the Vale of Glamorgan, the Mid Glamorgan pairing of Jack Breen and Eric Hughes along with Tomos and Chaad. Their third game was against Jack and Eric, which given the fact that our shots differential was the lowest of the three unbeaten pairings, this became a must win game.
Both teams started well playing some high quality bowls. With shots hard to come by, this game was always going to come down to fine margins. Slightly more consistency saw the Mid Glamorgan pair open up a lead during the middle of the game, which eventually proved pivotal to the outcome. Having said that Tomos and Chaad did have opportunities to salvage the game notably where Chaad narrowly missed a chance to remove a bowl for a count of five. Even though the defeat was disappointing, both players performed very well during a hard fought encounter.
Carmarthen County 6 Mid Glamorgan 12
With both Mid Glamorgan and the Vale of Glamorgan pairings still unbeaten and playing each other in the last group session game, qualification through to the final was impossible for the Carmarthen County pair. Their final game was therefore a dead rubber against Ceredigion. However, neither player let this affect them and both played some excellent bowls in a game they never looked likely to lose.
Carmarthen County 13 Ceredigion 4
Overall result :- Played 4, Won 3, Lost 1, Shots differential + 5
Ben and Jordan played in Section B of the competition. They opened up with what appeared on paper to be a tough encounter against a very experienced South Glamorgan pair. However, Ben and Jordan hit the ground running and played some excellent bowls throughout the game, scoring heavily on some ends which ensured a comfortable opening game victory.
Carmarthen County 16 South Glamorgan 4
Their second group game was against Ceredigion. Ben and Jordan were immediately able to pick up from where they left off in their first game. Their far greater consistency saw them quickly establish a healthy lead which they were able to gradually build upon to secure another important win.
Carmarthen County 21 Ceredigion 6
As with the pairing in Section A, Ben and Jordan’s third game turned out to be their most pivotal of the competition. This match was against Iestyn Williams and Ethan Humphreys from Mid Glamorgan who had been drafted into the competition quite late on when Pembrokeshire were unable to field a team and were therefore playing under the banner of Pembrokeshire. Like Ben and Jordan, Iestyn and Ethan had secured two comfortable victories in their opening two games and with both teams appearing to have relatively straightforward looking fourth games, this was effectively a winner takes all encounter.
A very even start saw both pairings playing solid bowls, with the first four ends shared and the scores even. At this point, the weather took a significant turn for the worst with a sustained downpour of rain which ended up dictating the outcome of the match. Regrettably for Ben and Jordan their consistent play deserted them and with Iestyn and Ethan adapting far better to the conditions they were able to run out as comfortable winners.
Carmarthen County 4 Pembrokeshire 13
Even though qualification for the final was still possible for Ben and Jordan, the likelihood of Iestyn and Ethan coming unstuck in their final group game appeared remote given their form. Nevertheless it was important that Ben and Jordan should give themselves every opportunity if the unthinkable happened. Against an inexperienced Montgomeryshire pair, Ben and Jordan were dominant and played some excellent bowls to run out convincing winners. Unfortunately for them though, Iestyn and Ethan were in no mood to slip up and secured a victory in their final group game to take their place in the final.
Carmarthen County 29 Montgomeryshire 1
Overall Result:- Played 4, Won 3, Lost 1, Shots differential + 46
For both Carmarthen County pairs it was a competition of what might have been. Both pairs put themselves into positions where a place in the final was within reach, however in shortened format games such as these, it is vital to ensure that a level of consistency is maintained throughout the whole game, as loose ends can prove costly.
This along with being able to adapt well to changing conditions and circumstances will come with experience for all of these young players.
Once again I cannot speak highly enough of the players. All four are under 18 years of age and show a level of maturity beyond their years. Their performances continue to put them in the shop window when it comes to consideration for higher honours within the game. More importantly though they continue to be a credit to their Clubs and the County.
Junior Team Manager