Winners of the Secondary Schools Cup James Nash SHS. L-R: BQ President Peter Williamson, Tilah Mason & Cody Bernard

James Nash State High wins the Cup!

by jgrey

From the northern reaches of our state to the sprawling cities of the south-east, Queensland’s best high school bowlers gathered at Club Pine Rivers for the Secondary School Cup Final held on October, 13-14. After last year’s hiatus due to Covid-19, enthusiasm and healthy competition reigned while all eyes were peeled on which school would leave Club Pine Rivers with the silverware. The winning school in 2019,  Northern Beaches High School, wasn’t in the draw this year and neither was runner-up Pittsworth State High. There was a new winner to be crowned in 2021.

The three bowl pairs competition is played over nine rounds before a winner is crowned. The game is played on shortened ends with games limited to a one-hour time limit or nine ends played. With power plays in the mix, the score is doubled for one end only giving teams a chance to swing a game in their favour.

Day One – October 13

Gladstone, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast regions ruled the roost at Pine Rivers on day one of the Secondary Schools Cup. Mt Larcom High School featuring the duo of Kaleb Shields and William Masters won all five games to earn their spot on the top of the ladder with 10 points at the end of the first day. Sharing second place were Beerwah State High School’s Zacharie Flood and Jack Chirgwin who won four games and lost one and Nerang State High School’s Ryan Kiepe and Sophie Kiepe, who also won four games and lost one. Both second placed on day one finished with eight points. With only one win separating the top three teams going into the last day of the Secondary Schools Cup, who would end up champion was far from being decided.  

Day Two October 14

Players and spectators experienced one of Brisbane’s storms with heavy rain early on day two, but everyone was grateful that play could continue due to the covered greens at Club Pine Rivers. The teenagers remained unperturbed, with every bowl played vital in determining the winner of the 2021 Cup. 

Beerwah State High with Jack Chirgwin and Zacharie Flood toppled Mt Larcom with a win of 12-4 in Round 6 and had a massive win 22-1 against SERL college in Round 7 and an equally impressive score of 15-2 against Nerang College in Round 8,  pushing themselves to first place on the ladder, overtaking James Nash by a margin of 20 shots. 

By the end of Round 8, James Nash State High with Cody Bernard and Tilah Mason sat solidly in second position on the ladder after forging ahead and winning against Glasshouse College 22-6 in Round 6, Highfields College 10-7 in Round 7 and Mackay Christian College 13-4 in Round 8. 

Going into the final round it remained a two-team race between James Nash and Beerwah, with Beerwah looking to be the favourites but a loss to Kirwin and Ignatius Highs and a spectacular win for the surging James Nash side of 26-1 against Cavendish State High decided the final winners of the event, showing that the Fraser Coast region is not to be messed with.

James Nash claimed the Schools Cup after winning eight games and losing just one, with runners-up Beerwah a close second after winning seven out of the nine games. James Nash finished at the top of the ladder with a score of 16 points and a margin of 96 shots, Beerwah with 14 points plus 83. Three other teams also finished close behind on 14 points: Xavier/St James +60, Kirwin/Ignatius +43 and Atherton +29. Congratulations to Tilah Mason and Cody Bernard. 

New bowler Tilah Mason (James Nash) said that she had only started playing bowls at the beginning of the year.  “Cody asked me if I wanted to go to this event with him and I didn’t actually think that we were going to win!”

“It was a good experience and Cody is a really good coach.

“He’s going to go to the Olympics one day.” 

“That’s my goal,” said Cody Bernard. 

“I feel really good, the last game came right down to the wire. I had trained and practised hard, helped to coach Tilah and was just confident in myself, but not overconfident as anything can happen in bowls.”

Jack Chirgwin (Beerwah) said that even though it they came close to winning, he felt pretty good. “Zacharie and I play well together and it’s a shame we couldn’t get the win in the last game.”

Zacharie said he’d only been playing bowls for about eight months so to come a close second is great. “I felt that when Jack asked me to put down a bowl in a specific place, I was able to do that.” 

To see detailed scores click here: http://www.bowlsqldonline.org/#!/eventPublic/resultdisciplines

To see videos of the games click here: https://www.bowlsqld.org/2021-secondary-schools-cup/

Thank you to Club Pine Rivers and J Carroll Club Promotions for their support of this event.

L-R: Winners James Nash SHS Tilah Mason & Cody Bernard with runners-up Beerwah SHS Zacharie Flood & Jack Chirgwin