Hayley proves England selectors got it White

Hayley White continued her fine 2012 to date by winning the Welsh Open
Hayley White continued her fine 2012 to date by winning the Welsh Open
Nathan Thompson played in a central midfield role against Scunthorpe. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Hayley White stayed on course for success in the biggest international events of her career by claiming the Welsh Open title.

The 22-year-old from Cosham was already on a high after her selection for the England team for both the European Championships and the inaugural World Singles Championships, to be held in Cyprus in September.

But White made sure that anyone who questioned her selection was soon eating their words as she held off the challenge of Yorkshire’s Jo Allsebrook to lift her latest prize in the Cardiff event.

White said: ‘I’ve started strongly this year and I got picked for the England teams and then won the Welsh Open four days later so it’s fantastic.

‘If anyone had any doubts about me being picked, then I think I answered them.’

White, who scooped the Irish Open in January, followed that with the Welsh crown after a ding-dong battle with Allsebrook that came down to the final game to continue her remarkable run of form.

White admits she is brimming with confidence after her storming start to 2012. And that is helping her to achieve results, with consistency proving to be a key factor.

White said: ‘It’s been very close between Jo and I for the past couple of months but I did what was needed to get the win.

‘I’m feeling very confident with my game at the moment and a lot of people have faith in me.

‘I go into competitions thinking I have got a chance of winning and I go in thinking “I can do this”.

‘It was a close one. In qualification, she was ahead of me, but then I went ahead, then she came back and I ended up winning by 29 in the end.

‘It was also tough because, for the final game, I was at one end of the centre and she was at the other.

‘My boyfriend Alex was running between the lanes trying to find out what was going on and passing on messages!’

White’s progress saw her named runner-up in the sportswoman of the year category at the 2011 News Sports Awards.

And since the turn of the year, she has justified her status as one of the country’s finest tenpin bowlers by earning selection for England.

White will form part of a six-woman squad for the European Championships in Tilburg, Holland in June.

But she is one of just two English women who have got the nod to face the world’s best for the September showdown in Cyprus.

White said: ‘It’s very exciting. There’s a squad of 12 women for Team England and they have been looking at my progress.

‘They then go through a selection process to choose who represents the country in the major events and I was lucky enough to get selected.

‘Now I have to keep bowling well between now and those competitions.’