Western Australian juniors shining in the sun
The Australian Under-18 Championships have commenced in spectacular fashion at Sorrento Bowling Club in Western Australia this morning, with the reigning champion host state firing an early warning call to opposition state and territories. Leading into the four-day tournament the Black Swans were widely regarded as the team to beat, after an unprecedented campaign 12 months ago that saw them clinch all the major silverware on offer, and they didn’t disappoint in their opening round encounter with wins across the board in the first four disciplines. Unfazed by eight positional changes to the ten-strong under-18 contingent, Western Australia were ably guided by last year’s dual gold medallist David Downey and 16 year-old Elizabeth Allen, with their charges utilising the home green advantage to secure wins in the girls’ singles and fours, and the boys’ pairs and triples. Pitted against Northern Territory’s Shae Smith in the opening rubber, Allen required just 60 minutes to edge ahead of the competition in the blue-ribbon girls’ singles and claim a 21-9 victory. With the top place getters from each pool progressing through to Thursday’s gold medal match following three round-robin games, the Australian Under-18 Championships is an unforgiving battlefield, with little respite for those who fail to win all of their encounters. Both genders will now swap disciplines, with the boys’ singles and fours, and the girls’ pairs and triples second rubber matches commencing this afternoon against the same opposition from this morning. In tomorrow’s encounters, Tasmania face Victoria, Northern Territory square off against NSW, Queensland encounter South Australia, and the ACT are pitted against Western Australia. Caption: Western Australia are towering over their opposition.