Teen bowls talent wins national title

Emma Cooper, right, and Lorraine Kuhler
Emma Cooper, right, and Lorraine Kuhler
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A Battle Bowls Club starlet has won a national title.

Emma Cooper clinched the Bowls England Women’s 25 & Under Pairs Championship in Leamington Spa last weekend at the tender age of 15.

That was in spite of the fact that the Claverham Community College pupil had never previously played pairs with Worthing-based partner Lorraine Kuhler.

Despite their inexperience as a pair, Cooper and England international Kuhler “went to win” and they scraped through their first round match against Yorkshire 13-12 on Saturday morning.

They then saw off Hertfordshire 17-12 in round two Saturday lunchtime and got the better of Northamptonshire 22-16 in the quarter-finals on Saturday afternoon.

Cooper and Kuhler returned on Sunday morning to overcome Devon 20-7 in the semi-finals to set up a final against the Worcestershire pair of Sophie Inchley and Amy Stanton on Sunday afternoon.

Inchley and Stanton looked on course to retain their title when leading 13-6 after eight ends, but Cooper and Kuhler, of Homefield Park BC, were resolute and by the 16th end had turned the match around.

At the start of the 18th and final end, the score was 20-17 to Sussex. With only three woods left to bowl (two to Worcestershire and one to Sussex), Sussex were holding three shots.

The opposing skip then knocked the jack back to gain four shots, leaving Sussex with one bowl to save the game. But Kuhler held her nerve to regain the shot, giving Sussex a 21-17 victory and the Nancie Colling Trophy.

Staplecross-based Cooper and Kuhler’s reward is the chance to represent England against Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Jersey at The British Isles Championships in Ireland next year.

See tomorrow’s Battle Observer for the full article.