“Highlight of my career” - WGC Bowls Club star James Avery reflects on win over Commonwealth Youth Games representative

PUBLISHED: 07:20 16 August 2015

James Avery playing against the Commonwealth Games representative

James Avery playing against the Commonwealth Games representative

Archant

When James Avery reached the age of 18, he was faced with a dilemma. Continue his Panshanger FC playing career or solely focus on bowls, a sport played by his entire family and one that he had played for three years. It was the latter that took his fancy.

Growing up watching his relatives on the carpet-like lawns of Hertfordshire several times a week, Avery was keen to follow on the tradition, with recent successes.

A fortnight ago, the Welwyn Garden City Bowls Club memeber picked up what he called the “highlight of his career” by triumphing over one of England’s Commonwealth Youth Games representatives to win the U30 County Singles knockout competition in Bishop’s Stortford.

Garston’s Bradley Coles, who will fly out to Samoa early next month to compete in lawn bowls - the first time the sport has appeared at the championships since 2003 - was stunned by Avery. He wasn’t the only one.

Avery told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I qualified for the tournament and was just happy to be there.

“When it came to playing Bradley, I felt I always had a chance but you have to bring your A-game in a match like that and I definitely did.

“I would say it is the highlight of my career as he’s such a top player and hopefully there’s a few more wins like that round the corner.”

Avery has had a good 2015 season up to now, whether it be in singles, pairs or doubles.

For him, it is not all about the results though.

Playing up to five times a week, Avery makes sure he can fit his bowls in around his job as a delivery driver.

He continued: “I just really enjoy playing the game.

“Following in the footsteps of my family was the main reason for taking up the sport but I am glad I did because I have made a lot of friends from playing bowls.

“It is just as much a social thing for me as well as being competitive.

“I would like to play for my county more regularly if I can because that would perhaps allow me to go on the same journey as Bradley [Coles], who worked his way through the county game to the nationals and is now playing in a major championships overseas.

“That is a nice dream but I have a little way to go before that could happen but you never know.”

Avery’s quest for the international ranks of the game will only have been boosted by reaching the Ranson Cup final (see above, right) last weekend. Perhaps a first piece of silverware this season for the 20-year-old.


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