Ajay rolls into national finals

Egerton Park Indoor Bowls Club starlet Ajay Morphett has qualified for the finals of a national competition
Egerton Park Indoor Bowls Club starlet Ajay Morphett has qualified for the finals of a national competition

An up-and-coming bowls player from Bexhill is through to the last eight of a national competition.

Ajay Morphett has reached the Under-15 Singles Final Stages, which will take place in Spalding, Lincolnshire, on Saturday March 7.

The 13-year-old will face competition from far and wide because the other finalists are from clubs such as Banister Park, Church Gresley, Yeovil, North Cave, St Neots, Oyster and Northampton.

The eight players are expected to initially be split into two round-robin groups of four, with the winners going on to contest the final.

Morphett achieved the highest score of all the eight finalists in the previous stage of the competition, which was played on a regional basis.

The Egerton Park Indoor Bowls Club starlet comfortably won all three of his matches by 2-0 scorelines at Horsham IBC on February 8. His opponents there came from Egham, Grattons (Crawley) and Donyngs (Redhill).

Prior to that, Morphett defeated Harrison Hipgrove, from Eastbourne, at Egerton Park.

The Bexhill High School student claimed the title of EBYDS (English Bowls Youth Development Scheme) National Junior Skills Champion at Melton Mowbray Indoor Bowls Club in the latter part of 2013, but playing in the Under-15 Singles Final Stages will be his biggest stage to date.

Despite having only just crept into his teenage years, Morphett has plenty of experience of playing against much older bowlers.

In fact, just last weekend he was on the winning team in the adult Sussex County Indoor Bowls Association (SCIBA) County 5s competition at Grattons.

This is Morphett’s fourth year of playing for Egerton Park’s men’s team in the Sussex County IBA League Division One and he also featured for Sussex against Kent in the Home Counties IBA League 2014-15 before Christmas.

Last year he was part of the Egerton Park team which won the SCIBA Championship Fours. That team also included his father Rob.

Now in his fifth year of bowling, Morphett has tasted much outdoor success during the summer months as well.

Morphett’s outdoor club is Spartan and his achievements in the summer game include being a runner-up in the triples at the Bexhill Men’s Open Bowls Tournament (where Rob won the singles) in 2013.