Ace Emma helps England triumph in far east

Emma Cooper (second-left) with the England team at the 21st Tiger Bowls World Invitation in Hong Kong.
Emma Cooper (second-left) with the England team at the 21st Tiger Bowls World Invitation in Hong Kong.

A bowls talent from Staplecross has helped England win two international titles in the far east.

Emma Cooper was part of the England team which won the plate competition at the 21st Tiger Bowls World Invitation in Hong Kong and the main event at the 7th China Open.

Emma Cooper (second-from-right) and her triumphant team-mates at the 7th China Open.

Emma Cooper (second-from-right) and her triumphant team-mates at the 7th China Open.

The England team, which also contained Jessica Eley (Hertfordshire), Donna Knight (Oxfordshire) and Rebecca Wigfield (Northamptonshire), first competed on the outdoor greens of Hong Kong.

Played over two days, the Tiger Bowls World Invitation saw a mix of local and international teams initially compete in a round-robin format to determine the top eight qualifiers for the latter stages.

England had a strong start to the first day of competition and acclimatised themselves to the greens quickly to win four games and draw one.

These results placed them in a strong position going into day two, where two victories and a loss saw England progress into the knockout stages in fifth place.

England comfortably won 8-1 against ILBC from Hong Kong in a plate semi-final played during the evening session to set up a final against the USA.

England found themselves trailing 3-0 after three ends, but a strong performance by the quartet earned them 12 unanswered shots to triumph 12-3 and win the plate competition.

The team then travelled to China to compete in the 7th China Open, a tournament which began in Shenzhen, again in a round-robin format.

A tough first day’s play ended with England winning two games, drawing one and losing one, leaving them in third position going into the second day of competition.

With only the top four teams qualifying for the knockout stages, the players knew they needed to put in a strong performance in order to secure their place in the semi-finals.

Four winning scorecards on day two meant England remained in third place to qualify for the second stage of the competition, on the indoor green at Zhuhai.

Although drawn against a Hong Kong team which included international player Vivian Yip in the semi-finals, England prevailed 13-5 to set up a final against the Philippines, who won 7-5 against the USA in the other semi-final.

England recorded a comprehensive 14-0 win over the Philippines after only six ends as the ladies claimed their second title of the week.

The England men’s team was also successful in China, reaching the quarter-final stages in Zhuhai.

Cooper has continued her success on home greens by qualifying for the EIBA National Finals in the mixed pairs, two bowl singles and ladies’ fours.

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