Bexhill talent helps England to victory

Ajay Morphett in his England shirt at the under-18 international match against Wales.
Ajay Morphett in his England shirt at the under-18 international match against Wales.

A highly talented young bowls player from Bexhill was victorious on the international stage.

Ajay Morphett helped England to victory over Wales in a two-day under-18 Test match at a gloriously sunny Barry Athletic Bowls Club.

After the opening ceremony where the six girls and six boys on both teams were introduced, play got under way with two triples and two pairs games.

Morphett played lead in the boys’ triples alongside Mark Smith and skip Tom Holmes. The game was very close until Wales picked up a five and a four in quick succession. England rallied to make a spirited comeback, eventually losing by only four shots.

The 15-year-old was rested for the afternoon session and the day ended with England leading 4.5-3.5.

The result would be determined by the singles and fours games on the second morning. England won the boys’ singles, but lost the girls’ singles, leaving them a point ahead going into the two fours matches.

The England girls’ four lost out on the last end by two shots, so it all came down to the boys’ rink of Morphett, Ashley Nethercliffe, Louis McCubbin and Liam Harris. The game was very close up to 10 ends when England pulled away. They went into the last end seven shots up and eventually won by six to give England a 6.5-5.5 victory in the series.

Morphett’s dad Rob said: “It was a fantastic experience for Ajay and to be part of the winning team will stay with him forever.”

Ajay headed to Leamington Spa on Sunday for an England academy day and impressed sufficiently to be named in the 2017 Bowls England academy squad.

He is now looking forward to an England indoor get-together at Melton Mowbray tomorrow (Saturday) and a Sussex Liberty Trophy trial on Sunday.

The Bexhill Academy pupil will then travel to Aberdeen on Friday October 14 to play for England in the BIIBC (British Isles Indoor Bowls Council) Under-18 International Series. After that he will be back at Melton on Sunday October 23 for the EBYDS National School of Excellence Finals.

Rob Morphett added: “I would like to add a big thanks to friends and family who have helped out with arrangements and costs for what we all hope is continued success in Ajay’s chosen sport.”

Ajay Morphett plays for Spartan BC and Egerton Park IBC.

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