Emma Cooper has continued her summer of success on the bowls greens by retaining a prestigious national title.
The 16-year-old Battle Bowls Club starlet won the Bowls England National Junior Pairs Championship for the second successive year alongside Lorraine Kuhler, from Homefield Park Bowls Club in Worthing.
It was an historic victory for Cooper and Kuhler because never before has the event - which was part of the Women’s National Championships in Leamington Spa last weekend - been won twice by the same competitors.
In the early rounds, the Sussex duo beat Warwickshire 20-17, Middlesex 24-6 and Derbyshire 26-12. The semi-final against Somerset, however, turned out to be a good deal closer.
Cooper and Kuhler led all the way until the 17th end when they dropped three shots to trail 17-16. On the 18th and final end, Cooper drew the shot with a bowl touching the back of the jack, taking the score to 17-17. The game therefore went into an extra end and Cooper again drew the shot with a bowl sitting on the front of the jack to clinch a nailbiting 18-17 win.
In the final against Leicestershire, Cooper and Kuhler were 7-1 down at the fifth end, but steadily turned the match around to eventually run out 17-12 victors. They will now go on to represent England in the British Isles Series to be held in Jersey next year.
The previous weekend, Cooper and Kuhler had been part of the Sussex team which competed in the Amy Rose National Under-31 double rink competition, also at Leamington Spa.
Sussex performed very well to reach the semi-finals where they were up against Devon and narrowly lost by a solitary shot. Devon, who had won the competition in the previous two years, went on to retain their title.