State Junior Championship – Day Two Wrap Up

by tbreuer

By Ben Krikstolaitis

    Day two of the State Junior Championships started with a bang at Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club. The semi-finalists went straight into battle against each other in the fight for a berth in the final.

    Hot favourites Zone 5, Katie Astley and Brad Farlow, fought valiantly in fifteen ends of tight, contested heads. An incredible volume of bowls within nothing more than a metre-and-a-half of the jack seemed to create a really even contest but the scores never went their way.

    On the other side of the board, the Zone 16 team of Jacob Aitkin and Travis Moran grabbed every opportunity for a shot and the score board kept ticking over their way. Zone 16 running out the eventual winners 17 shots to 7.

    On the TV rink, Zone 12’s team of Billy Waite and Ryan Klem (Cabramatta) showed again that they are a powerhouse team pushing past two great bowlers from Zone 6, Xander Webber and Koby Kattoau. Yes, Xander is named after the character from the Triple X movie, Xander Kane and it’s his parents that told me that. It’s great to see the parental/guardian support all of these players get and how proud the parents are of their kids.

    So on to the final. The metropolitan zone 12 against the regional cities of zone 16. Powerhouse club Cabramatta vs two of the Illawarra’s best.

    The contest was epic. A seesawing affair with close heads, big hit and brilliant, strategic play. It was a lesson in high performance bowls and both teams hit their peak at points in the game. The final score, as so often is the case, did not reflect the nature of the game.

    But in the end, there can only be one winner and it was the local boys, Jacob Aitkin and Travis Moran who were victorious, 18 shots to 9 after 15 ends. After a brilliant lead up to the final, Billy Waite and Ryan Klem had to accept the consolation prize. Jake and Travis saluted the crowd with their new medals and their names on the perpetual shield forever engraving their names in Bowls NSW history.

    Singles – After a pairs series that was truly exceptional it would take some convincing to bring the crowd into the next format. But the first end of the first-round game between Tom Rich and Jacob Aitkin certainly grab hold of them. All eight bowls thrown down by these young men changed the shot. Six touchers, brilliant draw bowls and a saving conversion by Jacob blew the crowd’s mind.

    And it was on. Shot for shot, end for end these brilliant players worked like this game was a final. In the end, Tom Rich bashed his way through the middle section of the game and managed to gain the momentum. At one point Jacob made it to the launch pad, being able to finish the game in one end. But there he got stuck. Tom strangling his attacking play and drew his way beautifully to 19 – 17 and then scored the final two shots to win an epic game.

    On the other rinks :

    Gabriel Ingersoll (Dundas Sports – Zone 10), 21 shots Defeated Kyle Anderson (Raymond Terrace – Zone 2) 17 shots

    Ryan Klem (Cabramatta – Zone 12) 21 shots Defeated Sam Griffiths (Terrigal – Zone 15) 12 shots

    Tim Thorning (Gunnedah S&B – Zone 3) 21 shots Defeated Harrison Conroy (Wagga Rules – Zone 8) 13 shots

    Bradley Farlow (Glenbrook – Zone 5) 21 shots Defeated Joshua Allman (Merimbula – Zone 7) 10 shots