State Junior Championships – Day Four wrap up
By Ben Krikstolaitis
Day four was a long day for the players because fours games can sometimes be a grind. The arena was completely full as players from all parts of the state arrived for the sectional rounds of the State Junior Championship fours.
The fours section of the championships brings together the largest volume of players. And it showed at the brilliant indoor arena at Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club as the yells and laughter so characteristic with these juniors echoed off the domed roof.
The games were frenetic and often hard to follow as the lead shifted backward and forward on all rinks. There were close contests everywhere and some brilliant bowls played. It’s hard to nail down the best of the games but what we witnessed on the live stream in the third round of sectional play would have to come close.
Sam Rich, Cooper Dart, Zac Miller and Tom Rich (Zone 4) came up against Zachary Moran, Flynn Cooper, Jacob Aitken and Travis Moran (Zone 16) with the fate of all three teams in their section on the line. Zone 12 had enough points to go through but only a small score differential in case of a points-draw. Zones 4 and 16 had to win and win big to make it to the semi-finals.
The contest didn’t disappoint. The jack was hidden from the skippers almost every end at the cross-over, completely surrounded by close bowls and touchers. Tom Rich describing it as a game of going down by eight or going for the kill every end. It was stressful but that’s what these players are built for.
End for end they battled, neither really gaining an advantage until the final end. Again, all close bowls by the teams as the skippers came to the head. The big hitting Tom, knowing he was down and needing a big score to get to the semi-final launched a massive hit and killed the end. They started again and again and again.
Three dead ends and the players congregated once more. Everyone around the green was doing calculations in their heads, trying to get a gauge on how many shots each team required to get through to the next round.
The bowls put down were clustered once again around the Jack. Both teams had a ripper of an end and it was down the to skippers. Tom drew his first one in close and seemed to be holding game. Travis crashed through with his first and disturbed the head enough and reclaimed shot. Tom drew again and pushed jack through for a multiple.
Travis took his time on the last shot. He knew he had to kill it or move jack back for a multiple. He took a deep breath and fired. The bowl shot down the green and missed closely to the left and clattered into the ditch. Zone 4 had won but four shots, a couple short of what was required to get through. Zone 16, having lost, didn’t make it either. The game here, despite being amazing, had a disappointing result for both teams but elation for Zone 12 who were through to the semi-finals.
For full results please click here