NICOLA Boulton says winning one of the most coveted prizes in her chosen sport has been a timely reminder she can compete with the best.

The Wharton Cons bowler claimed the British Ladies’ Senior Individual Merit title for a second time on Saturday after winning six matches during a gruelling day.

She told the Guardian her previous success, in 2014, felt a long time ago.

“I really wanted to win this one,” she said.

“It’s a big boost to my confidence after a difficult couple of years when I haven’t been at my best.

“It does give you belief that you can compete at the highest level when you get over the line.

“I did know what that felt like, but it didn’t stop me feeling every emotion after the last game – relief, happiness and pride were all in there.

“I’d been nervous before leaving home, and so it was nice I could replace that with positivity.”

Boulton was motivated as well to put behind her a list of defeats in the final, which stood at five before she rolled a wood against Joan Lewis from Staffordshire.

After a 21-12 victory at Windle Bowling Club in St Helens, she can now banish those doubts too.

“I said to myself ‘I can’t lose another one,” she added.

“I went and sat on my own, away from everybody else, and thought about what I need to do.

“I’m not sure that added pressure, but it did help me to focus – I was so determined for there not to be another loss in that column.”

She delivered on that promise to herself.

A path to the final had started with wins against Pat Dobson (21-8), Steph Witherspoon (21-9) and Julie Bonnar (21-8) to clinch a quarter-finals date with Lynsey Gorman.

The Merseyside bowler is the ladies’ president of the British Crown Green Bowling Association and had chosen the host venue.

But that did not deter Boulton, who prevailed 21-14.

She was pushed hardest in a last-four encounter with Louise Ollerton, coming from behind to win 21-18.

“That was my ‘iffy’ game,” said the Mid Cheshire star.

“It’s tough to be at your best in every game, and to maintain concentration, when you’re on and off the green again so quickly.

“I could have lost, but managed to fight back.

“It was only then that I could think about winning the title again because when you arrive in the morning you’re only thought is on getting through the first game.

“I’m just made up that I did.”