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Fabulous finale at State Junior finals

Youthful talent abounded at the Bowls Queensland Junior State Championship in Toowoomba from January, 19-24. Held across Toowoomba and North Toowoomba Bowls Clubs, players vied for the Fours, Triples, Pairs and Singles titles.

The championship entered the first stage of its finals with the Open Under-15 and Open Under-18 Pairs and the Open Fours championships being contested at the North Toowoomba Bowls Club, where all finals were held.

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Open Pairs

A large crowd gathered for the finals and they weren’t disappointed as the standard of play was up with the best seen in a State Junior carnival. The gold/silver and the bronze medal matches were held concurrently, providing plenty of action.

The Under-18 gold medal match saw some of Queensland’s finest young bowlers in action. Nick Cahill (Kawana) and Kane Nelson (Belmont Services) teamed up to take on Ty Jesberg (Longreach) and Shane Rideout (Monto). After a fairly even start, Cahill applied the pressure and secured a handy lead
of 12–6 at the midway point of the 18-end contest. Then, a superb combination of bowls from Nelson and then Cahill gave them four shots on the 13th end and a commanding 19-7 lead. Rideout and Jesberg remained upbeat and continued to pull back shots to trail 19-11 before conceding on the 17th end.

In the Under-15 gold medal match on the adjoining rink, Corey Marshall (Helensvale) and Syarra Blain (Victoria Point) took on Christian McLellan (Gin Gin) and Hayden Oster (Gympie). Again it was a close start at 8-all by both combinations before Marshall and Blain pounced to break away to a 14-8 lead on the 12th end and then scored another four shots on the 13th end to put the result beyond doubt and the final score of 21-8 sealed the championship.

The bronze medal Under-18 match saw North Toowoomba’s Jake Rynne team up with Kira Bourke (Tweed Heads) and career away to a commanding 23-3 victory over Brad and Carl Flegler (Enoggera) while the Under-15 Bronze was won by Harry Goodberg (Caloundra) and Oscar Culley (Caloundra) 21-13 over Cody and Riley Bernard (Albert).

Open Fours

The Under-18 Open Fours final provided the highlight of
the day. In what many good judges believed would be a close match, Nick Cahill’s team stunned Jake Rynne’s team to lead 8-0 and then 12-4 before the combination of Rynne, Ty Jesberg, John Hammond (Roma) and Kira Bourke staged a massive fightback to draw level. Cahill, Corey Marshall, Caysee Wilson (Kawana) and Kane Nelson then steadied to claw their way back in front. With the score at 17-16 on the last end in favour of Cahill’s team, Rynne played a near dead draw with his last bowl to 80cm, leaving Cahill to have the final say. In what initially looked short, Cahill’s final bowl finished less than
a centimetre inside Rynne for a thrilling 18-16 victory. The bronze medal went to Mitchell Doyle, Dekota Brindle, Chloe Runge, Caleb Bowles.

Triples

Following on from the superb play seen earlier in the week with the Fours and Pairs, the junior triples teams continued to wow crowds with their skills, professionalism and enthusiasm.

Homeboy North Toowoomba Bowls Club Champion Jake Rynne led his Triples side to victory in one of the most thrilling junior finals witnessed in recent years.

With the two teams containing the cream of Queensland’s junior players, it was always going to be a mighty battle over the 18-end contest. With Longreach youngster Ty Jesberg as lead and Tweed Heads prodigy Kira Bourke second, Rynne’s team took an early 3-0 lead over Kawana’s Nick Cahill’s team of fellow club mate Caysee Wilson as lead and Belmont’s Kane Nelson playing second. That lead very quickly evaporated on the fourth end, as Cahill capitalised on some great bowls from Wilson and then Nelson, to take four shots from the end and the lead.

Open Fours

The Under-18 Open Fours final provided the highlight of
the day. In what many good judges believed would be a close match, Nick Cahill’s team stunned Jake Rynne’s team to lead 8-0 and then 12-4 before the combination of Rynne, Ty Jesberg, John Hammond (Roma) and Kira Bourke staged a massive fightback to draw level. Cahill, Corey Marshall, Caysee Wilson (Kawana) and Kane Nelson then steadied to claw their way back in front. With the score at 17-16 on the last end in favour of Cahill’s team, Rynne played a near dead draw with his last bowl to 80cm, leaving Cahill to have the final say. In what initially looked short, Cahill’s final bowl finished less than
a centimetre inside Rynne for a thrilling 18-16 victory. The bronze medal went to Mitchell Doyle, Dekota Brindle, Chloe Runge, Caleb Bowles.

It was then nip and tuck throughout as the lead swung from one team to the other, with never any more than three shots in it. In an unusual twist to this enthralling final, the scores were locked at 14-all after 14 ends, so the stage was set for an epic finish. First Cahill’s team edged ahead on the 15th end to lead 15-14 before Rynne’s team bounced back with two shots after sublime play by Bourke to grab a 16-15 lead. Rynne then produced the bowl of the match to dead draw to the jack for a 17-15 lead but you knew the game was far from over.

Caysee Wilson, who bowled superbly in the final, covered the jack with her two bowls while Jesberg covered the back to be only centimetres outside Wilson’s bowls. Bourke then produced her own bit of magic to almost match Wilson and the head saw Cahill’s team holding just the one shot.

Nelson’s deft touch almost secured the second shot so it became up to the skips. Rynne again edged into the head to have Nelson covered and Cahill put his first bowl only a centimetre outside Rynne’s, leaving it up to Rynne to ensure Cahill’s options were limited. He again produced a magic draw but Cahill still held shot and it was then up to Cahill and his final bowl. With nine bowls within a meter of the jack, you could have covered the head with a bath towel.

It was going to be difficult and with the big crowd on the edge of their seat, Cahill was up to the challenge and narrowly missed to come up one shot short for the Gold medal.

To steal a well-known golf phrase, it was a victory for the ages and neither team deserved to lose. For the locals, though, it was jubilation and a sigh of relief as you’d go a long way to see a better contest.

Singles

The final day of the 2020 Bowls Queensland Junior Championships held at North Toowoomba provided plenty of action and excitement, with the Singles title up for grabs in the Under-15 Boys and Girls plus Under-18 Boys and Girls categories.

With two greens in action, it was hard to know where to look as the standard of bowls was outstanding and the closeness of the scores nail-biting.

A riveted crowd of families, supporters and local bowls enthusiasts gathered under heavy skies to witness the culmination of what many considered to be the best Queensland Junior bowls carnival staged in recent memory. Superbly prepared greens and hospitality second-to-none laid the platform for a week of bowls featuring the best young talent in Queensland.

The Under-15 Girls section provided a close finish in an all- Helensvale Hawks match, with Sophie Allan snatching the Gold medal from club-mate Sophie Kiepe 21-19. Impressive youngster Syarra Blain of Victoria Point took the Bronze medal 21-10 from Capalaba’s Ella Hilton. The Under-15 Boys drew the most bowlers from around the state and provided plenty of excitement. In an all-Albert club final, Travis Pearce withstood the pressure to prevail 21-19 over Cody Bernard while the Bronze medal saw an impressive Todd Brain from Cunnamulla defeat Oliver Corken of Thuringowa 21-8.

The Under-18 Girls and Boys finals lived up to all the anticipation and hype generated in the earlier matches of the week. Defending champion Kira Bourke of Tweed Heads, in her final year of Juniors, claimed back-to-back Under-18 titles but not before a great struggle with Enoggera’s Olivia Rothwell. Locked together at 15-all, it was Bourke’s steadier play that saw her take the match 21-15. The Bronze medal match saw Zayah Morgan (Capalaba) an impressive 21-13 winner over Chloe Runge of Glasshouse Mountain.

The highly awaited Under-18 Boys finals were sublime. With barely a split hair between the four players, Kawana’s Nick Cahill outlasted Enoggera’s Carl Flegler in a close finish and Belmont’s Kane Nelson came from behind to deny the local hope, North Toowoomba’s Jake Rynne. The Gold medal match between Cahill & Nelson was fought out tooth and nail, with Cahill securing
the match 21-15 to claim his third Gold medal for the week after capturing Gold in the Fours and Pairs. Nelson played strongly

until the final stages when some of the upshots and drives he was executing superbly throughout the week deserted him when it mattered.

Meanwhile, there was some joy for the local Bushranger’s supporters when Jake Rynne overran Carl Flegler 21-16 with some deft touch in the closing stages.

The Bowls Queensland Junior Selectors named the Boys and Girls 8-bowler squads, with the conditions being that each bowler had to be under the age of 18 come June 2020. The squads will now train in preparation for the National titles and will be reduced to 5-player teams to represent Queensland.

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