For the second time in three years Welsh Bowls is celebrating a female world champion after Laura Daniels won the World Singles Champion of Champion singles title in Sydney.
The 32-year-old Neath-born accountant, who is a member of the Earslwood IBC and Brynhyfryd Bowling Club, followed in the footsteps of Kathy Pearce, who won the title in Aberdeen in 2015. It was another great achievement on her route to the 2018 Commonwealth Games back in Australia on the Gold Coast.
Earlier in the year Daniels won the British Isles singles title in Llandrindod Wells, when she came from behind to pip Ireland’s Bernie O’Neill 21-19 having at one stage trailed 18-9. She faced Malaysian superstar Emma Firyana Saroji in the final at the palatial St John’s Bowling Club.
Saroji was attempting to become the championship’s first dual winner, but she came up short against the battling queen of Welsh bowls, who added her sport’s ultimate title to the world pairs title she already owned.
In a brilliant exhibition of singles played in damp, trying conditions, Daniels survived a Saroji match play on the final end of the second set when the Malaysian held three close counters and Daniels, the 2015 World Indoor singles winner, managed to draw second shot to win the set and force a three-end tiebreaker.
After scoring a single shot apiece in the three-end decider, the coup de grâce came when Daniels held four counters and Saroji’s last despairing attempt to clinch a second title went wide. The Welsh star won 6-8, 7-5, 5-1.
Daniels has come a long, long way since she started playing short mat bowls at the age of 12 alongside her brother. She then moved on to outdoor and indoor bowls and became a member of Earlswood IBC and Brynhyfryd Bowling Club.
She has won a host of titles since those early days and has been a senior Welsh international since 2010. She became the first Welsh women to win the World Indoor title in 2015 at Potter’s Resort in Hopton-on-Sea, Norfolk.
Three years earlier she was crowned the WBC World Singles champion and she won the title again in 2015. Now she will turn her attention to bringing home gold from the Gold Coast in April.
Women’s final: Laura Daniels (WAL) bt Emma Firyana Saroji (MAS) 6-8 7-5 5-1.
One thought on “Wales’ Laura Daniels Becomes World Champion In Australia”