Pembrokeshire Short Mat bowlers were crowned ‘Top Team Champions’ for the first time since the competition began in 1995 after beating English county champions West Midlands and Northern Ireland’s top zone team Mid Tyrone.

After two days of intense competition at Heatherton Park, Pembrokeshire won from the final delivery as a Mid Tyrone skip failed to wrest the initiative from a local team skipped by Sion Hughes alongside Mark Thorpe, Karl Symonds and James John-Davies – and there were celebrations that will long remain in their memories of all involved.

The competition began 24 years ago and the hosting rotates annually between the three countries, with their champions participating on their countries’ behalf – and this was the second time Heatherton has played host, with owner Charles Davies saying: “We are delighted to offer our services because short mat bowls is played here a great deal, and are thrilled Pembrokeshire were winners.”

Joining him in congratulations for the Pembrokeshire squad of 24 players was John Munt, chairman of the Pembrokeshire SMBA, who was a match official.

“Pembrokeshire have been Welsh Champions on no fewer than 15 occasions but are proud to be the first team from Wales to receive this special trophy.

“We had total commitment from our team over two days, with nine rounds of singles, pairs, triples and rinks, with each team taking on the other two twice in that format.

“I am very proud we have finally brought the silverware to Pembrokeshire after qualifying in the Welsh Championships, and I congratulate our entire squad, superbly led by Rhydian Rees as captain.”

The Hudson family certainly enjoyed it with all four involved, with Julie taking on the role of results recorder. Husband Paul is a Welsh international, as is son Andrew, who doubles up as the youngest president of Pembrokeshire Short Mat Bowls Association – whilst daughter Kate Hudson-Brown was the only lady in the county squad.

Rhydian Rees said: “A tremendous competition played in the best spirit – and I thank my squad for their support.”