Bowls NSW State Junior Championships – Day One Wrap up
By Ben Krikstolaitis
Warilla bowls and Recreation club is one amazing venue for lawn bowls. The indoor arena echoes like a cathedral sending sound everywhere. Today it became a cathedral of bowls, a place to worship the game and our young clergy wearing the colours of their home clubs and zones instead of cassocks.
It is an unforgiving place, every wrong bowl amplified as the thump of the bowl and then the sighs of the crowd echoing around the arena. But mostly we heard cheers and the slap of high-fives. The Junior State Championships shows off the best of bowls in this state.
The best of these kids is the best of bowls at any age. Pairs games kicked off the tournament with all zones represented over three games finishing into the night. The prime-time bowls gathering a good crowd.
The Zone 12 pair of Billy Waite and Ryan Klem (Cabramatta) dominated their opponents in all three games with strong wins over Zone Jordan Lean & Zoe Nicholls (Raymond Terrace – Zone 2), Sam Griffiths & Stephen Hutchinson (Terrigal/Gosford City – Zone 15) and Cooper Gersbach & Steve Houting (Temora Ex /Junee – Zone 8). Their wins catapulted them into the Semi-Final this morning.
Made to work a little harder were Xander Webber and Koby Kattau (East Cessnock / Greta Workers – Zone 6) who scraped through in their first game against Will Price & Cooper Wrightson (Engadine – Zone 13) but had a strong win over the pairing of Luke Kennedy & Oscar Hide (NBC Sports – Zone 10) to progress to the next round of the contest.
These zone representatives are the morning broadcast rink and will be an amazing match-up.
On the other rink, the emerging brilliance of Zone 5’s Katie Astley and Brad Farlow, who have an enormous following, put on a draw-bowling clinic for the watching crowds. Katie Astley is a standout in this competition and one to watch in the future. They made it to the semi-final defeating a highly credentialled side of Reece Finn-Young & Josh Allman (Merimbula – Zone 7). Reece Finn-Young is the reigning Australian Open Under 18 Girls Champion.
They then defeated Riley & Ethan Scott-Branagan (Belrose – Zone 9) in one of the best games of bowls seen in this arena and probably in Australia since Aaron “Disco” Wilson lost to Jacob Nelson in the Quarter-finals of the Australian Open Men’s Singles. It was a truly staggering display of intelligent, accurate bowls.
The final semi-finalists, the Zone 16 pairing of Jacob Aitken & Travis Moran (Corrimal / Warilla – Zone 16), who are very familiar with this arena, had a couple of hard games against Charlie Cameron & Ella Cameron (Gunnedah Services – Zone 3) and Zach Miller & Tom Rich (West Dubbo / Mudgee – Zone 4) but prevailed to make it through to the semi-final and in touch with the ultimate prize here.
Some cracking games are to come at the Junior State Championships.
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