West Lancs & Sefton Junior Merit 2019
Winner 2019: Harry Prescott
Runner up : Andrew Arnold
Winner 12 & Unders: Lily Morris
Runner Up: Harry Copeland
There was a marvelous day’s bowling in the 2019 West Lancs & Sefton Junior Merit. The competition was held at Ormskirk Bowling Club, with the main Merit competition on the grass green and the 12 & Unders playing on the artificial. Numbers were up on the previous year, with 17 young crown green bowlers in total turning up to play.
The Group stages for the main Merit saw some good matches, with the top 2 in each group battling it out for a place in the semis. Group A involved some close matches, with Harry Prescott just coming out on top in high quality matches against homesters Lily Copeland (15-11) and Chris Farrell (15-12). Harry topped the Group, with Chris coming second.
Group B was won by Andrew Arnold, with the pivotal match being against Rylan Irwin (21-16), with Rylan having to second place in the Group. All the semis were good matches. Andrew Arnold beat team mate Chris Farrell 21-17, and Harry Prescott beat Rylan Irwin 21-15.
In the final Harry overcame a tiring Andrew 21-11 to lift the magnificent Merit trophy, in a reversal of last year’s 12 & Under final whic the same two had competed for.
In the 12 & Unders the players from other clubs (Botanic and Scarisbrick Bowling Clubs) all adapted well to the fast artificial surface, and the fact that we had 10 young bowlers competing for this trophy bodes well for the future. Players were divided into two groups of 5 players. Group A was tremendously close. Matthew Finch ran away with top place after 4 wins, but the next three (Eve Lowe, Edith Hannah and Alex Dougan all won two matches and could only be separated on points difference. Eve scrapped through to the semis by virtue of a +4 points difference – Edith and Alex being on -3 and 0 respectively.
Group B was won by the 2017 champion Harry Copeland (4 wins) and runner up was Lily Morris (3 wins). This Group contained the youngest competitor, Michael Hannah, at just 8 years old, and who acquitted himself really well and is surely one to watch for the future.
The semis and final were full of drama and with lots of highs and lows and nail-biting tension. Whilst Harry had a fairly straighforward win 11-3 against Eve, Lily had a much tougher game against Matthew, winning 11-10 with drama right to the last bowl.
The final was another titanic struggle between Lily and Harry. Lily raced to a 5-0 lead before Harry got going and pegged her back. Going into the last end leading 10-9, Lily just kept her nerve to take the 2019 title 11-9.
The best thing about the whole day was the sporting manner in which games were played and how much enjoyment all the young players got from taking part. Roll on 2020!! If any young people under the age of 17 fancy giving crown green bowls a try then further details can be found on the West Lancs & Sefton Junior Bowls Forum’s website https://wlsjuniorbowls.wordpress.com/ or by ringing Ian Gill on 07500 918 081- sessions are run in Southport, Ormskirk and Churchtown.
Full results can be found on bowlsnet on the junior merit tab to the right of the main page – http://bowlsnet.uk/WestLancsJunior