Vokes delights in dream England debut

Tenpin bowler Annaleise Vokes waves the England flag in Dublin
Tenpin bowler Annaleise Vokes waves the England flag in Dublin
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Annaleise Vokes bowled her rivals over as England’s ladies reigned supreme at the Adult Triple Crown in Dublin.

The Baffins-based international claimed gold and silver medals in the trio and fives competitions.

Vokes, alongside her five team-mates, ensured England held off the challenge of Ireland to win the ladies’ competition.

The host nation hit back to take the overall prize with victory in the men’s tournament.

But it did not dampen Vokes’ delight.

She said: ‘It was a great experience. I was so excited to have been involved.

‘Because of the importance of the competition, I was a bit nervous at first but once I started playing I was able to concentrate and find my form.

‘It was so close throughout. Ireland took an early lead and then we had to come from behind to snatch victory at the end.’

England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey battled it out in five disciplines – singles, doubles, mixed doubles, trios and fives.

And 20-year-old Vokes, who made her senior England debut in the competition, played her part in a pulsating tournament, racking up the second-highest individual overall score in the ladies’ event.

She added: ‘I was so shocked to get the call. I have always wanted to achieve in adult bowling, having been involved with England juniors.

‘I just kept training hard and once the competition got going I was able to play well and that showed in my scores.’

Vokes, who rattled up a best total of 289, missed out on the highest individual score of the ladies’ tournament by one pin.

But the talented bowler has other targets in mind.

She said: ‘Next year I’d love to compete in the adult European Championships.

‘I competed in the juniors, so it would be great to make the step up.’

She added: ‘The World Championships next year would also be unbelievable to play in.’

Vokes, who also plays for Hampshire’s adult side, will be back in action next week when she plays in the Airport Bowl in Heathrow.

But she also spends her time giving advice to youngsters who are taking their first steps in the sport.

Vokes said: ‘Whenever I can I will go and help out with the children at Gunwharf Quays.

‘Any advice or guidance I can pass on I will.

‘It is great to see the kids having a good time and enjoying their bowling.’

With the European and World Championships on the horizon – and Vokes in imperious form – few would bet against the Baffins bowler continuing her rise up the adult ranks.