Four ladies from Heatherton Indoor Bowls Club near Tenby have all represented Wales at the BIIBC internationals at Chelmsford last weekend.

Katie Dickinson (left), Steph Amos and Mel Thomas (second and third right) were all selected for the Welsh team for the series, while Kath Blayney (second left) travelled with the squad as the current president of the WIBA.

But the story doesn’t end there. As Wales prepared to take on Ireland in their final match of the series, the team was hit by two late withdrawals due to injury and personal reasons.

The travelling reserve was immediately called in to fill one of the vacant places, but who would fill the second position?

Yes, you’ve guessed it. After some gentle persuasion and a little arm twisting, Kath Blayney readily agreed to step into the breach, discarding her chain of office and donning her bowls kit to earn her first cap for her country.

Whether she is the oldest ever to make her debut in a Welsh bowls shirt, we are not exactly sure, but it’s safe to say she’s not the youngest!

As a matter of courtesy, we will not reveal her age here, but what we can say is that Heatherton did have the youngest representative in the Welsh team in 18-year-old Katie Dickinson, who was also making her debut… and who just happens to be Kath’s regular pairs partner.

Afterwards, a smiling Kath remarked: “It was a great honour to represent my country. The girls all welcomed me into the team and were very supportive. I really enjoyed the game and hope I didn’t let anyone down.”

Far from it. After a ‘toucher’ with her very first wood, Kath, along with her St. Florence club colleagues, all played their part in helping Wales to a nail-biting victory over the Irish and third place in the final table.

On Sunday, Katie, Steph and Mel made the long journey home to Wales, while Kath, back wearing her ‘president’s hat’, remained in Chelmsford for the BIIBC Championships and subsequent men’s internationals, where she was able to welcome three more Heatherton internationals, namely John Roberts, Mike Jackson and Ryan Thomas.