Nelson brothers “bookend” Open Triples
Wynnum Manly Leagues’ skip Jacob Nelson, 16, rolled what his younger brother and lead Kane, 10, called “screamers”, to clinch the State Juniors Open Triples title at Bundaberg today, with their mate Mitch Mears, 16. Wynnum Manly Leagues skip Jacob Nelson, 16, and younger brother, Kane, 10, along with Algester’s Mitchell Mears, have won TRIPLES GOLD at State Juniors 2015, at Burnett Bowls Club.
They snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against an awesome trilogy of Justin Cribbin (Jubilee Townsville), Jesse Turnbull (Hamilton) and skip Tyler Pettigrew (Marlin Coast), all three 17 year olds going for broke in their last State Juniors.
The first 13 ends were all-or-nothing affairs, with Nelson’s boys failing to land a punch in the first six ends, the score 7-0 to Pettigrew.
In the next four rounds, it was all about Nelson’s boys, starting with a drop of four on the 7th end, plugging away to a one-shot lead at the end of the 10th, 8-7.
Pettigrew swung back, having it all his own way again for the next three ends, claiming back the lead 11-8, by end of the 13th.
The final five ends saw all eyes glued to the green…Would Pettigrew’s boys hang tough for the win? Or would Nelson’s lads upset the applecart and seize the prize?
Nelson’s boys inched their way into striking position…9-12, 10-12, 11-12…and suddenly there was only one end to go, the score as tight as a drum.
“It was my last bowl, we were holding shot for a draw, I had about “this much” room (10-15cm) to draw the shot (for a possible win),” skip Jacob said.
“It was unreal, I drew shot, a backhand draw, my last bowl…”
With all the pressure on opposing skip Tyler Pettigrew to blast Jacob’s bowl out of the ballpark, unfortunately for the runners-up, the drive went wide, and the Nelson brothers, and their mate Mitch, were State Juniors Triples Champs for 2015!
“I was very, very happy with my game,” Jacob said.
“Jacob pulled off a lot of screamers!!!” brother Kane said, “His last bowl, on the last end, I thought it was wide…”
The Nelson brothers have been playing bowls for seven years, Kane starting as a three year old.
(He won State Juniors U15 Singles last year, and he’ll start his title defence tomorrow, at Burnett Bowls Club.)
Jacob won State Mixed Pairs in 2013 at Broadbeach, in a “May-December” pairing with Mary Ross from his former club, Cleveland.
Jacob was 14, Mary was 84, a seven-decade spread, Mary lead, and Jacob skip, the energy and synergy between the two delighting the crowd and winning them a well-deserved state title.
Jacob won his second state title at last year’s State Juniors, in the Open Fours, with skip Hayden Vogler.
Now he’s won the hat trick, three GOLD at state level, and he’s got another two years to play for Queensland, if selected.
Mitch is also 16, with another two years of play for Queensland possible, and Kane, at 10, has another seven years in the Junior ranks.
Kane’s next most pressing engagement, after his State Juniors U15 Singles title defence (April 14-15), is next week’s club challenge against his dad Greg in A-Grade Singles, Nelson V Nelson (and nobody’s sure who to put their money on…?)
The Triples final runners up, Cribbin, Turnbull and Pettigrew, have contested their last State Juniors.
They’re hoping Queensland’s U25 rep comp will fire up again soon.
“The chemistry between us just gels,” Turnbull said.
“We’ve been coming to State Juniors for years and we’ve become friends.”
The good-natured ribbing among the Juniors makes the sport all the more enjoyable for the 70 young bowlers playing this year.
For example, Justin Cribbin’s nickname this year is “silver spoon”, because he’s won a silver medal in all the disciplines he’s contested so far, Fours in Tyler Pettigrew’s rink, Pairs leading for Dale McWhinney-Shillington, and today in Triples.
Justin will be back tomorrow to try his luck in the Boys U18 Singles sectionals, to be played at Burnett Bowls Club from 9am.
Tomorrow’s girls’ Singles sectionals will be played at Across the Waves from 9am.
(Singles semis and final from 9am Wednesday, April 15).
State selectors Peter Stanton (coordinator), Greg Bostock, and Margaret O’Rourke are in Bundaberg looking for five boys and five girls to represent Queensland in the QLD V NSW annual U18 test series (June 29-July 1) and Australian U18 Championships (ACT, Sept 28-30).
In today’s TRIPLES semi finals, champion Fours skip Brittanny Wiley from Binjour went down to Tyler Pettigrew 6-22 and Algester’s Alex Harman went down to Jacob Nelson, 13-18.
Brittanny played Triples with North Dalby’s Carl and Bradley Flegler, Alex played with Tweed Heads Jessica Srisamruaybai and Swifts Zac Adams.