Two Pembrokeshire sportswomen have made their senior international debut – one by selection and the other by default!

Katie Dickinson, 18, was one of four ladies from Heatherton Indoor Bowls Club representing Wales at the recent BIIBC (British Isles Indoor Bowls Council) internationals.

This was the Tenby teenager’s first senior game for her country after being capped at under-18 and under-25 level.

Katie’s regular pairs partner, Kath Blayney, travelled with the squad in her role as the current president of the WIBA (Wales Indoor Bowls Association).

But Kath found herself joining the team on the green as it prepared to take on Ireland in the final match of the series at Chelmsford last weekend.

Into the breach!

A spokesman for Heatherton explained: “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?

“After some gentle persuasion and a little arm twisting, Kath Blayney 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!”


Kath said afterwards: “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, and  her St. Florence club colleagues – Katie, Steph Amos and Mel Thomas -  played their part in helping Wales to a nail-biting victory over the Irish and third place in the final table.

President's role

On Sunday, Katie, Steph and Mel made the long journey home to Wales, while Kath - back in her president's role - remained in Chelmsford for the BIIBC Championships and subsequent men’s internationals.

There she was able to welcome three more Heatherton internationals, namely John Roberts, Mike Jackson and Ryan Thomas.