Essex’s Jasmine Wilson, Lincolnshire’s Penny Strong and Devon’s Sophie Tolchard scooped the Women’s Bowler of the Year awards at the Bowls England Women’s Annual Dinner and Presentation of Prizes in Coventry on Saturday (23rd November).
A shortlist for each award was compiled, with a public vote then taking place to crown the respective winners, with this year seeing the introduction of a Senior award.
18-year-old Wilson triumphed in the Bowls International sponsored junior category. The Essex youngster had a great season, which included making her debut in the junior international team back in July. Wilson skipped Hayley Kenny to the National Junior Pairs title in August. She also retained the Essex Women’s County Singles crown, as well as reaching the National Triples Championships as skip of her Radwinter team.
Wilson beat off the competition of Devon Cooper (Hertfordshire), Emma Cooper (Devon), Nicole Rogers (Hampshire) and Harriet Stevens (Devon).
Dunholme’s Penny Strong was the inaugural winner of the Women’s Senior Bowler of the Year, also sponsored by Bowls International.
Strong guided partner Sheila Plaskitt through a star-studded Women’s National Pairs field to lift the coveted trophy after defeating Emma Cooper and Natalie Chestney in the final. Strong proved her worth after the pair were 9-18 down but came back to score on the final six ends to win the title. Taking the anchor position at three to Annalisa Dunham, Strong was also part of the winning Walker Cup squad when Lincolnshire enjoyed their third success in the event.
Also shortlisted in the senior category were Penny Cresswell (Dorset), Rachel Mackriell (Sussex) and Margaret Smith (Surrey).
Devon’s Sophie Tolchard enjoyed her third success in the Taylor Bowls sponsored Woman Bowler of the Year award.
Tolchard scooped the Two-Wood Singles title to complete her set of Women’s Championship titles. Having won the Singles twice, the Junior Singles twice plus Junior Pairs, Pairs, Triples and Fours. The win also meant she is one of just three women to have won the singles treble – the others being Amy Gowshall and Jamie-Lea Winch. The 27-year-old was also part of the Kings team who lifted the Women’s Top Club trophy for the third time, playing the singles discipline and winning all of her matches during the final stages. Tolchard also won the Family Pairs at the beginning of the Championships with brother Sam.
Tolchard was shortlisted along with Emma Cooper (Devon), Amy Gowshall (Lincolnshire), Harriet Stevens (Devon) and Jamie-Lea Winch (Leicestershire).
The winners received their gifts and awards from Sian Honnor, Editor of Bowls International.