A budding bowls talent from Bexhill is basking in the glory of winning a national title.
Ajay Morphett claimed the title of EBYDS (English Bowls Youth Development Scheme) National Junior Skills Champion at Melton Mowbray Indoor Bowls Club.
The skills event consisted of four different tasks and competitors were awarded points according to how well they performed on each.
Morphett prevailed with a total of 57 out of 66 having done remarkably well to place all three of his woods inside a semi-circle surrounding a full length jack on one of the disciplines.
It was a tremendous achievement for the Egerton Park Indoor Bowls Club starlet in his first appearance at the national finals of the EBYDS School of Excellence.
Peter Blanks, the county youth academy administrator, said: “He’s a very talented bowler and he’s well ahead of where you would expect at his age. What he’s achieved over the last 12 months is brilliant and his ability is such that there are adults that don’t want to play against him.
“I think he could go on to be a very good player, but trying to keep his feet on the ground is the biggest problem at the moment. There are going to be times when you dip a bit and then you come back again.”
The national finals also included a singles competition involving the same 16 players, although Morphett was eliminated in the group stage after winning one of his three matches. He finished sixth in the overall standings.
The Bexhill High School pupil, who started bowls three years ago, set off on the road to Melton Mowbray by finishing runner-up in the junior section (10-14 years) at the Sussex County School of Excellence in January. That qualified him for the Regional School in April which he won.
Morphett was runner-up in the triples at the outdoor Bexhill Men’s Open Bowls Tournament (where his father Rob won the singles) during the summer and has already bowled for Sussex men.