Day 2 at the Under 18 National Championships

by admin

Tuesday 30th September 2014

The Under 18 National Championships continued at the
Nightcliff Bowls Club with Darwin continuing to provide early hot conditions
for the young bowlers to play in. Day 2 saw Western Australian take on the
Northern Territory, who despite not claiming a first day victory, were
extremely competitive against the extremely powerful state of Victoria.

Up first was the Boys singles, with David Downey looking to
improve on his first up loss to NSW. The Northern Territory has selected an
extremely enthusiastic young man in Marcus Simpson to represent them in the
blue ribbon event of the boy’s competition. With the home crowd providing
plenty of support, Simpson jumped out of the blocks and took an early 6-2 lead.
As Downey struggled to find a consistent length, Simpson made every post a
winner as the home support grew louder and louder. At 13-6 there was still a
belief that Downey, who won this event two years ago, would find a way to pull
him self together and reel the young man in. As the game continued and Simpson
continued to put pressure on, it became obvious that the Territorian was out to
provide the upset of the tournament and would not be making it easy for Downey
to get back in the game. When Simpson moved within sight of victory at 19,
Downey was still languishing on 10 and the end looked near for the WA star.
Downey got to 14 before Simpson added another to his total and move within a
single shot of a win. At this point Downey had found a much more consistent
length but had he left to much to do to over run his opponent. Consecutive
two’s but Downey at 18 while Simpson was still looking for his single shot to
make 21. In those ends Simpson had held game on a couple of occasions, but
Downey’s improved form had seen him produce some quality shots to win the ends.
What was the final end again saw Downey hold the shot but a third bowl draw
shot saw Simpson hold the one he needed. Downey’s last shot was not able to
change the head and the home crowd went wild as Simpson claimed a 21-18
victory.

Next door the Western Australian girls triples team of Kellie
Ainsworth, Amelia Axford and Dayna Cant had started strongly against the NT
girls team of Kerri-Anne Zavazal, Lauren Kingsley and Stephanie Clarke. As the
game progressed, the WA girls slowly pulled away from their determined
opponents, 3-1 after 4 ends, 8-3 after 8 ends and 12-5 after 13 ends. As the
game progressed the WA got stronger and put more pressure on. The NT team
continued to try hard but with WA skip, Dayna Cant playing well they could not
put enough pressure on to test the WA girls. 15-6 after 16 ends and finally a
patient and well deserved 12 shot,18-6 win to keep alive their hopes of playing
for a medal later in the championships.

The final game for the first session on day 2 was the girl’s
pairs and the WA team of Meghan Philpott and Elizabeth Allan were looking to
get their tournament back on track after a poor loss the day before. With this
in mind they came out all guns blazing against NT’s Skye Woodhouse and Shae
Smith and led early 9-2. With the initial blast over the NT pairing settled
down and started to match the WA girls bowl for bowl. The game was in a state
of calm as first one team won an end and then the other team had a turn. At the
end of the 11th end WA still held a solid 16-10 lead and looked to
have toughed out the NT girls efforts. Has it happened the NT girls had only
been gathering their forces and they suddenly struck to grab a 2 shot, 18-16
lead within 3 ends. This could have been the end for the WA girls as they were
trying to regroup after looking to be in charge for much of the match. Whether
the NT girls relaxed thinking they could now cruise to victory or the WA girls
stepped up and accepted the challenge, on the 15th and 16th
end the WA team again showed their class and took a full count of 6 and
followed that up with a 3. They looked to have putted the game beyond the NT
reach by taking the lead back 25-18 with only 2 ends to play. However the NT
was not about to lay down and won the last two ends to close the gap to only 3
shots in an entertaining game. The WA girls got themselves a win 25-22 and back
in with a chance to playoff for a medal.

The second session of day 2 saw the WA boys pairs of Ryan
Philpott and Josh Hamilton come out looking to atone for their first round loss
to NSW. Up against NT’s Tristan Chambers and Marcus Simpson it wasn’t going to
be easy after Simpson’s earlier singles win gave the boys confidence. Using
their experience and getting a solid start, Philpott and Hamilton combined well
together to get the early start and quieten the crowd. At 12-5 after 10 ends,
the WA boys had given their opponents no opportunities to get any momentum and
were able to answer all challenges. While the NT boys continued to provide
spirited opposition, the consistency of the WA boys shown out and they
continued to slowly pull away. After 14 ends they had extended their lead to 11
shots and by the time they had finished it had increased to 12. Like the WA
girls pairs, the 22-10 victory put the boys back in the race for a shot at a
medal game.

The WA Boy’s Triples team of William Hyatt, Dan Nicholls and David
Downey had a heart breaking loss the previous day after leading NSW most of the
game.  Up against the NT team of Jackson
Harding, Jackson Clayfield and Jack Hateley, this was a must win game for the
sandgropers. A cautious start saw the game played on even terms and the NT
leading for much of the early running. With the NT leading after 14 ends 11-9,
it was time the Western Australian boys stepped up and took command. With some
great lead bowls by Hyatt and Nicholls backing him up it was up to Downey to
make sure the good work was protected. Nearly doubling their score in the last
4 ends ensured the WA triples had their first win 17-11 and incentive to beat
the undefeated Victorian team the next day.

The WA girls fours team of Kellie Ainsworth, Meghan Philpott,
Amelia Axford and Dayna Cant team into their must win game against the NT’s Kerri-Anne
Zavazal, Skye Woodhouse, Lauren Kingsley and Stephanie Clarke with confidence
after their earlier wins in the day. Right from the start they put the pressure
on their opponents and at the halfway mark led 10-3. Another 9 shots over the
next 4 ends put a sizable gap between the two teams. With Ainsworth and
Philpott finding their range at the front end and Axford and Cant making every
post a winner at the backend, it was a matter of how far for the WA girls. With
the final score of 24-4 being a sizable shots up boost, a win in the last round
against the undefeated Victorians would see then assured of playing for some
kind of medal.

Coming off an impressive 1st round win over NSW, the
WA boys fours team of William Hyatt, Ryan Philpott, Dan Nicholls and Josh
Hamilton, a win over the NT team of Jackson Harding, Tristan Chambers, Jackson
Clayfield and Jack Hateley was essential. A positive start and an 8-2 lead
after 6 ends set the tone for the game. All players were doing their part and
the shots kept ticking over. Up 15-4 after 10 ends and then onto 21-4 after 12 ends;
the team consistently had bowls in head. The final score of 25-5 put them into
a terrific position in the section and they can look forward to a great battle
against the undefeated Victorians.

Elizabeth Allan made a great start to her defence of the girls
singles title she won last year at Sorrento with a win over NSW. The game
against NT’s Shae Smith was suppose to be slightly easier, but as Lizzie was
finding out there are no easier games at National level. Smith made an
impressive start and took all of Allan’s concentration and skill to match it
with her. One of Allan’s strengths is her consistency and that was what shined
through in this game. Although Smith had many good bowls, it was the lapses of
concentration that saw her start to fall behind. At 9-9 it was anybody’s game but
a run of 11 shots straight saw the score quickly grow to 20-9. A late burst
from Smith saw her close the gap but the damage was done and Allan remained
undefeated with a 21-13 win.

Day 3 sees Western Australia finish off the sectional play
rounds against Victoria. With places for medal games on the line in all
disciplines, it is sure to be a fast and furious day. Scores will be updated on
the Bowls WA Facebook page all day.