2005 BCIB Australian Junior Championships
For the third year Halekulani Bowling Club on the Central Coast of NSW hosted the Australian Junior Championships in Lawn Bowls. The event ran from the 26th to 29th Sept and was contested by 80 of the county's best under-18 bowlers.
The Australian juniors singles championship was taken out by Darren Morrison from Avoca.
While the NSW boys made their presence felt in all divisions, the girls shone by qualifying for the gold medal match in the pairs, triples and fours.
The experience of the the organisers and hosts was evident and the competition was a pleasure to attend. Organisers, umpires and coaches all mentioned the mighty efforts of the Northern Territory team. Northern Territory has only two clubs to harvest junior level players from. Catherine and Palmerstone are three hours apart and the dedication and effort to put together such a competitive team is respected by everyone in the series
Introduction from the event programme guide
The next generation of elite Australian bowlers will fill the greens at the Halekulani Bowling Club when the venue hosts the BCIB Australian Junior Championships. Eighty of the best bowlers in the country aged under 18 years will contest the 18th annual championships from 26-29 Sept with each state and territory fielding a team of five boys and five girls. The event will be played under a 'five-a-side' format in keeping with major international tournaments such as World Bowls.
Teams are divided into two sections of four, with the winner of each section meeting in the final. The players compete in singles, pairs, triples and fours, with each team member required to play in two disciplines.
Queenslands recent domination of junior bowls continued last year when the state claimed both the boy's and girl's overall championship titles. A stand-out performance in the boy's competition, Queensland appeared in the finals in all four disciplines, securing it's third national junior title in four years with victory in the triples and fours. The girl's team collected the overall trophy after edging out Tasmania, also with wins in the triples and fours.
South Australia and Queensland
Queensland again looks threatening in the girl's event with leading players Georgia White, Kelsey Cottrell and Amanda Bessell retuurning to defend the title Sixteen year-old White is a dual Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallist and in 2005 the talented youngster won the pairs title at the Helensvale Grand Prix and the triples crown at the Moama Grand Prix. Cottrell, 15, the youngest player ever to be selected in the Australian Bowls Squad has just been named in the training squad for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. The trio will be joined by Anita Wilson and Elizabeth Dunne in their bid to win back to back titles. Tasmania was the surprise package at last year's tournament, winning the blue-ribbon singles event and the pairs with Rebecca Quail playing in both finals. Quail who won a gold and silver medal at the 2004 Commonwealth Youth Games, is set to defend her titles, again combining with Candice Hodgetts in the pairs. New South Wales is expected to again provide plenty of tough competition in the girl's event as the state won the overall trophy in 2002 and 2003.
NSW and SA foreground, WA mid, Qld at Rear
While the Queensland girl's team is relatively settled, the boy's side has undergone somewhat of a shake-up with just two players, Jamie Nordoff and Michael Smith, back to defend the title. Ray Lanham, Jamie Smith and Queensland triples champion Brent Cheyne fill the remaining places. South Australia--which won the boy's title in 2002--will also be in the mix with Austin Cunningham and Max Kleinig joining previous participants Mark Haines, James Gregory and Braydon Norris. Many leading bowlers have kick-started their careers at the Australian Junior Championships. Current Australian Bowls Squad members Brody Pitham, Alex Murtagh, Lynsey Armitage, Jessie Eva, Melaney Macaulay, Cottrell and White have all won national junior titles.
Event sponsors and administrators
Photography by Steve Solomons
Page by Weblight Studio (Australia)
Umpire John Johnson. One of the officials who made the event such a success
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