Burnside U26 Results

Worthy Winner Found for the 2015 Burnside U26 Singles Tournament

06 Oct 2015


Report supplied by: Ken Wilson-Pyne 
The three day 2015 Burnside Under-26 Singles Tournament (2nd to 4th October) attracted a class field from clubs around New Zealand. In the end, it was a local who took the championship.
The first two days were devoted to section play in warm temperatures with, at times, gusty winds. The young players quickly adapted to these conditions and some exciting and nail-bitingly close games were enjoyed by appreciative spectators. By the end of section play, no one remained unbeaten.
Rory Soden (Browns Bay), Keanu Darby (Temuka), Scott Evans (Browns Bay) and Mat Bassett (Allenton) were the four section winners, with Rory having five wins from seven games and the others having six wins. These four were joined in the championship Division 1 by Jayden Menzies (Blaketown), Joshua Thompson (Stoke), Jesse Russell (Cambridge Central) and Tayla Bruce (Burnside). The remaining 24 players were placed in Divisions 2, 3 and 4 according to their section results.
In the quarter finals played in the late afternoon of day 2, Darby, Russell, Thompson and Bruce accounted for Menzies, Soden, Bassett and Evans respectively. 
Finals day started with little wind and warm temperatures. This changed late morning when a very strong and demanding north-west wind set in. The four divisions provided eight very competitive semi- finals. 
In championship Division 1, Joshua Thompson led Jesse Russell for much of a very close match. A four on the 13th end brought Jesse back into the game and a strong finish resulted in his winning a place in the final 21-17. Meanwhile Keanu Darby and Tayla Bruce were locked in an intriguing battle worthy of any final. This was an excellent drawing game in which both players won an equal number of ends. A full house on the 20th end and a first bowl toucher on the 21st end took Keanu to 20. Unfazed, Tayla drew two close shots on each of the next two ends, covered the back and, despite Keanu's best efforts, won the game 21-20.
The final between Jesse Russell and Tayla Bruce started well for Jesse who led 7-2 after five ends. Tayla then rallied, unveiling an outstanding display of top class draw bowls to score 19 points in the next 10 ends to win 21-8. 
The twenty year old University of Canterbury student studying to be a primary school teacher was selected as a Blackjack to play Australia in March. In November she will represent NZ at the Hong Kong International Bowls Classic. She becomes the second female to win this tournament, following in the footsteps of Nelson's Misty Arnold in 2011.
The other three divisions were also hotly contested. Ray Martin (Victoria) won the Division 2 final from Katelyn Inch (Canterbury) 21-19. Ray dominated the second third of this game after an even start. Towards the finish, Katelyn's precision draw play in a difficult nor-west wind and a number of loose run shots by Ray enabled her to close up the game. Eventually sense prevailed and the game was won with a draw shot. Earlier Inch had defeated Logan Amer (Titahi Bay) 21-11 and Martin had won 21-10 against Jonty Horwell (Kaikorai).
Division 3 was won well by Talor Duncan (Tauranga South) from Ali Choukry (Burnside). Chase Bishop (Blenheim) and Ashleigh Jeffcoat (Raglan) were the losing semi-finalists. Richard Hocking (Burnside) won Division 4 from Sy Baker (Johnsonville) in an entertaining final. Joseph Duncan (Otematata) and Brooke Craik (Fairfield) were the unsuccessful semi-finalists.
Mention should be made of three Wellington 15 year olds who all finished in the top half of the field - Brady Amer, Finbar McGuigan and Seamus Curtin. Together with the other very promising youngsters in the field, they represent the future of the sport of bowls in New Zealand. Based on their performances during this event, the sport is in good hands.
This is a tournament that is enjoyed by all participants, players, organisers, volunteers and spectators. The weather contributes to the events success as does the work of green keeper Glen Miller and the Tournament Convenor, Kerrie Bruce, but largely it is due to the attitude of the players to each other and to the officials. They play to win but do so fairly and without rancour. Bowls NZs values of Enjoy, Grow, Share, Honour and Succeed were certainly on show at Burnside this weekend.
The results of every game and photos of participants can be seen at www.burnsidebowlingclub.com

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