A smile of delight from Katie Thomas, of Whitland Bowling Club, after being crowned ladies singles champion at the Welsh National Bowls Finals at Llandrindod Wells last week. 

Lifting the coveted trophy was the icing on the cake of a memorable week for the talented 24-year-old, who in fact came close to achieving a remarkable singles ‘double’.

Just two days after her thrilling success in the blue riband event, she was back on the green in the final of the ladies under 25s competition, only this time she just missed out on the title after a nailbiting encounter.

But that was not all. There was also a lovely ‘family’ moment to savour when Katie and her mother Andrea won their way through to the final of the ladies pairs competition. It was Andrea’s first ever appearance in a national final, but sadly the Whitland duo could not quite get their hands on the silverware.

Katie, meanwhile, also appeared in the ladies under 25 pairs event with her partner, Katie Dickinson. They were looking to retain the title they won last year, but unfortunately this time bowed out at the semi-final stage.

Having first picked up a wood when she was just 10-years-old, Katie Thomas is no stranger to Welsh titles, though. She first won the under 25 singles in 2015, followed that up a year later with victory in the under 18s and repeated her success in the under 25s in 2019. 

She has also twice won the under 25 pairs title with Katie Dickinson, in 2018 and 2022. 

After her superb singles success last week, Katie remarked: “A big thank you to everyone who sent good luck messages, well dones and everything in between, and to those who cheered me on from the side.

“But my biggest thanks is to my family. They have believed in me from the very beginning, encouraged me through every game, every bowl even. So this one is for us!”

As singles champion, she will now go on to represent Wales in next year’s British Isles Championships, as well as play on the world stage in the Champion of Champions event.

Before all that, though, she has the honour of captaining the Welsh Under 25s in the junior internationals at Llandrindod Wells in a few weeks time. Good luck Katie. 

There were also a number of other notable performances from local bowlers during what was a highly successful national finals week.

As one of the Welsh representatives for the forthcoming World Bowls Championships on the Gold Coast in Australia, Ysie White, of Tenby Bowling Club, warmed up for her trip Down Under by winning the ladies two-wood singles title for the second year in succession. 

Another Tenby player, David Kingdom, was runner-up in the men’s open singles, clubmate Rhys Day reached the semi-finals of the under 18s competition, as did Steph and Gemma Amos, of Saundersfoot, in the ladies pairs, while Pembroke Dock trio Richard Jones, Ken Edwards and Kenny Chadwick put up a sterling defence of the senior triples title they won last year before exiting at the semi-finals stage.