DARTS: Laura, 17, qualifies for World Masters

Laura Bowley
Laura Bowley

Rugby College student hits first 180 in winning Midland play-off

Remember the name Laura Bowley.

She’s just booked her place at the 2016 Winmau World Masters Championships in November.

At 17 she is already making her mark on the local darts scene and is looking forward to testing her talent against the world’s best in the Youth Girls tournament.

After playing well all season, Laura was one of Warwickshire county youth squad’s top four put forward to compete in the Midlands Area Play-offs for the World Masters on Sunday.

In her last chance at the age group, she went one better than last year by beating county team mate and best friend Courtney Hine in the final in Coventry.

“I really wanted to qualify this season and when I won I just couldn’t stop smiling,” said Laura, who also hit her first competitive 180 in the match. “I’d never had a 180 before, so it felt great, but I couldn’t celebrate as it was in the middle of a game!”

The former Bilton School student was introduced to the sport by her darts-playing parents Martin and Michelle when she was just nine - and has been improving ever since.

Laura plays in the local leagues for Avon Mill Ladies and Missfits, and won the Bruce Kennedy Pairs title two years running, partnering Ted Evetts and Scott Needham.

“I like the social side of the game,” said Laura. “You make new friends and it’s really enjoyable. I have fun playing and don’t take it too seriously, but when I need to be serious I can be.”

Practising four or five nights a week, Laura, who is in her second year of Health and Social Care studies at Warwickshire College’s Rugby centre, is aiming to make a name for herself in darts and play on television - and so far she is certainly on target for that.