NSW heating up at the Australian Under-18s

by admin

Perennial powerhouse NSW has launched an all out assault on the opening morning of the Australian Under-18 Championships at the Northern Territory’s Nightcliff Bowls Club.

The Blues, who claimed the boys’, girls’ and overall silverware last year, have fired an ominous early warning shot to their opponents, prevailing in two of their first-round encounters to commence their campaign in the four-day tournament.

Dubbo spearhead Jono Davis overcame his first significant hurdle, blasting past Western Australia’s 2012 blue-ribbon singles winner David Downey in spectacular fashion.

Despite being dwarfed in height by the top age Sandgroper, 13 year-old Davis had all the shots in his arsenal to record a first up victory.

Davis led from go to woe, with 3 shots on the first end, and a game high margin of 17-2 after 13 ends before Downey stole the momentum with shots on five of the next six ends, but the young Blue, who won the Australian Open Under-18 event as a 12 year-old in 2013,  withstood the attack long enough to pencil in a 21-8 final score.

Davis, who is hotly tipped to be named in the Australian Under-18 squad for the first time when National Coach Steve Glasson makes the announcement at the conclusion of proceedings on Thursday, wasn’t shy of his chances after securing a gold in the fours and bronze in the triples at last year’s event.

“I played pretty well but he gave me struggle,” Davis said with a wry smile.

“I think I’ve got a pretty good chance if I play to that consistency all week, but I’ll need to keep my fluids up and eat plenty of fruits and healthy foods in this heat.

“There’s a bit of pressure int he singles but I get to play my own game.

“If we play up to our potential, I think we should be able to go as well as last year.”

NSW’s Lauren Shaw, Molly Wilton, Ellen Ryan and Dawn Hayman also prevailed in their fist encounter against Western Australia in the girls’ fours, but the team from the west pinched the honours in the boys’ fours.

Western Australia’s William Hyatt, Ryan Philpott, Dan Nicholls and Joshua Hamilton had the early wood over the highly fancied NSW contingent of Jay Breust, Sam Hatch-Caccamo, Isaac Rayner and Dylan Skinner, but it was a neck-and-neck finish after the Blues responded late in the match with 5 shots on the 11th end.

The Blues picked up 2 shots on the penultimate end, followed by 3 shots on the last, but it wasn’t enough to steal a win – beaten by a slender 1 shot margin.

Session two of the Australian Under-18 Championships commences from 12.00pm ACST, with the boys’ and girls’ pairs, and girls’ triples.

Click here for full results from the 2014 Australian Under-18 Championships at Nightcliff, Northern Territory.
Caption: Jono Davis is in red hot form in the Top End.