THE last two months have seen mixed emotion for Oakley bowls star Nicole Rogers.

In July, the bowler was part of the England Ladies under-25s that retained their British Isles International series trophy which was held in Londonderry.

England opened up their campaign against Wales with a comfortable win.

In the second round of matches England took on their main rivals Scotland and put in a real commanding display to win by more than 50 shots across the four rinks.

This just left England needing a win against Ireland to retain the title.

This turned out to be their hardest match of the series.

Losing during the first half of the match the English team's experience pulled them through for a narrow win and retention of the title.

Rogers said “last year was a bit daunting being my first international match but this year, knowing the players better and with a great team spirit it was a lot more enjoyable.”

Last month was the National Championships at Royal Leamington Spa.

First up was the Ladies Under 25 singles where Rogers had an easy win against fellow international Paige Dennis of Kent.

Unfortunately, in the next round she was drawn against current indoor world champion Kathrine Rednall who took control early on in the match for a comfortable win.

The Oakley bowler was back up to Leamington a few days later to compete in the National Champion of Champions, where she was representing Hampshire and Isle of Wight in the last 16.

Her first round draw was against current England international Lorraine Hackett from Devon which she won 21-7.

The quarter final pitted Rogers against current holder and Commonwealth Games champion Rebecca Wigfield.

The early exchanges were tight but after Rogers picked up a four to lead 12-6 she never looked back to win 21-14.

The following day in the the semi-finals, she faced World and Commonwealth Games champion and favourite Ellen Falkner.

Rogers took the initial advantage, but kept being pegged back as the score went 8-8, 11-11, 15-15.

With the crowd growing with the prospect of a major upset occurring the game changed.

With Rogers holding shot but Falkner having three second woods, she played Rogers wood out and stopped for four to lead 19-15.

However, not deterred, Rogers battled on and managed to draw the match level at 20-20 leaving a one end shoot-out.

However, the fight back had taken its toll and the Oakley bowler lost the match.

Afterwards, Rogers had mixed emotions and said: “I’m bitterly disappointed to have come so close to making a major final. However, if you had said at the beginning of only my third year of bowling outdoors that I would have got this far and almost beat a player of Ellen experience and ability I wouldn’t have believed it.”