Junior State Pairs and Fours Champions claim their titles
By Peter Rookas
The first of the finals for this year’s Bowls Queensland Junior State Championships being conducted in Toowoomba were played today (Tuesday 19/1/21) in superb summer weather and on the magnificently prepared North Toowoomba bowls greens.
After a successful start to the carnival on Sunday, it was down to business for the 60+ junior bowlers that have journeyed from all corners of Queensland to the Garden City of Toowoomba for the second successive year. Despite a late storm passing through Monday afternoon, the weather has been kind to BQ officials and the local organisers however the delay caused a reshuffle of semi-final, particularly the Under 18 section of Pairs and Fours.
The Under 15 Pairs finals started on time with semi-finals of the Under 18 pairs also on the main green. The Gympie pairing of Riley Bernard and Travis Pearce were up against the ‘Young Guns’ from Bundaberg, 10-year-old Marley Peters and his 12-year-old sibling, Zedd. Despite being ‘dwarfed’ by the older Gympie boys, the Peters duo displayed plenty of fight before going down 22 – 9. Bernard and Pearce stamped their authority on the match early to shoot to a 6 – 0 lead but the Peters pairing dug deep and levelled at 6-all after 6 ends. Another surge by the Gympie duo saw them jump tom a 14 – 7 lead after 12 ends and it was always going to be hard from that point for the Peters brothers to peg them back. It was a match played in great spirit with some vocal supporters offering applause for both teams.
While Bernard and Pearce claimed the Gold medal, the Peters brothers captured the hearts and respect of the local crowd and no doubt they have a bright future ahead of them.
The Bronze Medal match saw a very popular win to the Cunnamulla connection, Caleb Thorpe and Jacob Russell 16 – 13 over the accomplished team of Sophie Allan & Samuel Collier. The ‘pint sized’ Thorpe led confidently for his much bigger partner Russell and they skipped away to a handy lead before Allan & Collier powered back into contention. The final 4 ends had supporters on the edge of their seats, but the ‘Outback Kids’ held their nerve to close out the encounter and become the toast of the far western Queensland community.
With the preliminary finals of the Under 18 Pairs out of the way, it was down to the crunch matches to decide the 2021 medal winners. The hot favourites, Jake Rynne & Kane Nelson, didn’t disappoint and played sublime bowls to never give their opponents, Olivia Rothwell & Caysee Wilson, a sniff of victory in the Gold medal match. Rynne, the North Toowoomba Bushranger & the reigning Queensland Champion of Champions winner, combined seamlessly with the No 1 ranked Queensland prodigy, Kane Nelson, as they went about their business of ruthlessly grinding their opponents into submission. A combination of perfect weight control and deadly accurate lines saw some the best bowls ever played at North Toowoomba and the large crowd were in awe of their talent. With the score at 29 – 1 after 14 ends, the girls called time on the contest and submitted to a duo that would hold their own with any bowlers in the nation.
In the Bronze medal final, Ty Jesberg and Shane Rideout held too many skills for Olly Corken & Ashely Knight, to win 19 – 13. Although seemingly in control throughout the match, Jesberg & Rideout were made to dig deep before taking the victory. At times it appeared the match would be a walk-over, to their credit, Corken & Knight fought to the final end.
With local champion & crowd favourite Jake Rynne having his first Gold Medal of the championships safely tucked away, all attention turned to the final of the Under 18 Open Fours championship. Rynne joined Nelson again, along with Ty Jesberg & Caysee Wilson as they faced the team of Ashlee Knight, Chloe Runge, Caleb Bowles and John Hammond.
With Rynne skipping and Nelson backing up at 3rd, Caysee at Lead and Ty 2nd, they are rightfully the red-hot favourites to add to their booty. And there were no disappointments for the pundits as they careered away to an early lead of 22 – 1 before Hammond’s team settled into the game and started a mini-fightback. With a turn luck and some judicious bowls, the score started to draw a little bit closer before Rynne’s team regathered their composure and edged out to a 25 – 11 lead after 17 ends and the game was good as over.
Bronze medals went to Shane Rideout, Zayah Morgan, Dakota Brindle and Stella Palmer, as well as Mia Haycock, Marley Peters, Zedd Peters and Christian McLellan.
See Full Results: Bowls Queensland (bowlsqldonline.org)
See all 2021 Junior Championships live streamed matches: https://www.bowlsqld.org/2021-qld-junior-state-championships/
Thanks to sponsors 1st End sunscreen and Toowoomba Regional Council, North Toowoomba Bowls Club, the Gold Coast District media team and all volunteers.