ROSS-on-Wye Bowls Club star Tom Holmes stormed to the Bowls England Junior U25 national title at Royal Leamington Spa last Thursday and said: “It feels incredible.”

Tom, who was named England Junior U25 men’s captain after national trials in July, added after winning the final 21-11 from Illminster’s Oli Collins: “I’ve chased this for a long time. I’ve managed to get through quite a lot, but never got past the first hurdle.

“So if you get the first day and can bring it home, it feels amazing.”

Herefordshire junior champion Tom said that ‘a bit of experience’ had stood him in good stead at Victoria Park and allowed him to play his best bowls when it mattered.

“I think the junior trials and being sleceted captain has given me that little boost of confidence. I always felt like I was good enough, but perhaps never quite had the mentality, so was just able to relax a bit more this year.”

Tom revealed that the game ran in the family, with his grandfather, dad and brother all playing the game.

“I definitely want to be reaching the senior international squad, That’s the next goal, and hopefully keep improving, and make that Commonwealth squad, the worlds,” he said.

Tom kicked off with a 21-18 win over Morgan Jone of Polly BC, Nottinghamshire, in round one, followed by a 21-8 win over David Wilson of Aspatria BC, Cumbria, and a 21-11 win over Lewis Brimble of Knyveton Gardens BC, Hampshire.

He then beat Oli Shearing of North Greenwich BC, Middlesex, in the quarter-finals 21-15 before beating George Hopper of Newdigate BC, Surrey, 21-11 in the semis.

And in the final, Tom showed his class to be crowned Men’s Junior Singles champion.

His proud club posted after his national triumph: “Congratulations to Tom Holmes for winning the National Junior Singles. An incredible achievement.”

And next up, he will lead England team for the Under 25 International Series at Llandrindod Wells on September 16-17.