Tie-break thriller, All Schools 2013
Battle of the North final, St Anthony’s Townsville snatches victory from Smithfield SHS St Anthony’s Catholic College (Townsville) Year 9 student Matthew Dunlop and Year 10 student James Rowley are Queensland All Schools Cup champions 2013.
The two 15-year-olds are strong, silent types on a bowls green but they were pretty happy when the tiebreak went their way in the final against Smithfield State High School champs James Petch and Mitchell Styles at Pine Rivers Bowls Club this afternoon, 11-7, 4-8, 4-2.
St Anthony’s won the first nine-end set 11-7, lost the second 4-8 to the highly-fancied Smithfield, and won the tie-break 4-2, thanks to some canny final bowl placements by Rowley and Styles being unable to target his usually impressive driving shots to smash them out of the way.
“We didn’t think we’d be able to win it, it’s a really nice surprise,” Dunlop on lead said.
“It was a really close game, we were able to stay focused and really enjoy the game,” skip Rowley said.
Mums Bernadette Rowley and Charmaine Dunlop were rink-side to see their sons prevail in the thrilling tie-break.
“We’re very proud of their achievements and very excited,” said Bernadette.
The winning skip’s older brother Sam Rowley played All Schools in 2011.
He said it was great to see younger brother James (and Matthew) win the trophy for St Anthony’s and Townsville.
The pair hope to be back to defend their All Schools title in 2014.
However, it was the last chance for Petch and Styles in the Battle of the North final.
“It would have been nice to win, we’re both in Year 12 this year so it’s our last chance at All Schools, it’s always hard to lose on the last end of a tie-break,” Styles said.
“But all credit to the St Anthony’s boys, they played better on the day,” Petch said.
“Lucky (for them) I missed!,” Styles joked.
Styles previously played All Schools in 2011 with elder sister Maddie and won State Junior Championship Fours under skip Braidan Leese at Bribie Island earlier this year.
In presenting the trophies, Bowls Queensland chairman Ron Chambers complimented the young high school students on their ability and good sportsmanship and said he looked forward to seeing them enter senior competitions in years to come.
To get to the final, St Anthony’s had a blinder against Craigslea State High School’s Wade Viers and Daniel Keogh 11-1, 16-3.
Daniel has played bowls for about four years and played Division One pennants for Windsor Bowls Club in 2013.
Wade has played for only “about four weeks” but he liked the idea of the All Schools challenge this year, to make up teams of a more experienced bowler with a “new” bowler.
“I really liked the competition, it was cruisy and challenging, I usually play rugby league so this was something different but I liked it a lot, you need a lot of skill to play well,” Wade said.
Smithfield SHS had a tougher semi against the girls from Pacific Pines State High School, Paige Bailey and Michaela Bailey-Nelson, 7-7, 16-5.
The girls share a surname in common but they are not related.
Michaela, 15, comes from a soccer background and Paige, 16, from a dance and cheerleader background.
Paige entered as a favour to Michaela and found the game tougher than she realised but she’s really glad she had a go.
The Pacific Pines SHS pair were the only girls to make the semi-finals against three all-boys pairs.
“It was a lot of fun, our draw had us play against only boys’ teams but it doesn’t make any difference, they’re a good bunch of blokes,” Paige said.
The Year 11 students will still be eligible for All Schools in 2014 and both hope to return.
The state final of All Schools was contested by 13 district winners from around Queensland.