HANNAH Sexton feels she needs to walk before she can run ahead of her first road-bowling campaign at senior women’s level.
The Timoleague teenager (19) is the decorated underage bowler the sport has ever seen. In 2021, she added to her incredible haul as she defended her Munster and All-Ireland U18 crowns (in the delayed 2020 championships).
It means she signed off her underage bowling career with back-to-back U18 All-Irelands, which followed back-to-back U16 All-Irelands. Four All-Irelands on the bounce. Sexton also won all nine Munster underage finals she played in, from U12 to U18. Again, a staggering haul that includes U18 (3), U16 (3), U14 (2) and U12 (1).
Also, in 2021, in just her second season at intermediate level – she started in 2019, while the 2020 campaign only finished in October 2021 – Sexton was crowned Munster champion, and won promotion to the senior ranks.
She’s in with the best of the best now, and will need time to acclimatise to these heady heights.
‘After I knew I’d be moving up to senior I was thinking, ‘how will I even compete up there?”. I will have to push myself again and I know it will take a few years to find my feet,’ she said.
‘I have areas to work on. I need to get stronger. When you are watching Carmel Ryan and Kelly Mallon scores, you see just how good they are and the level I need to try and get to. I know I need to build and work my way through it.’
Sexton already has huge experience of big scores from her incredible underage career to call on, as well as winning Munster intermediate in 2021. She doesn’t panic. That will help her at senior level. She might be the new kid on block now but given her pedigree, talent and record, Sexton has the ability to cause a few surprises on the road in 2022.