Curtis Hanley runner-up at 2016 Australian Indoor
Victoria’s Curtis Hanley took down one Australian bowls superstar.
Sadly, he couldn’t finish off a second, as the Melbourne BC teenager capped off a remarkable 2016 Australian Indoor Championship as men’s singles runner-up.
Hanley, from the northern Victorian town of Katamatite, lost to defending champion Jeremy Henry (Warilla, NSW) 11-2 9-8 in the final at Tweed Heads Bowls Club.
It came after the 17-year-old Year 12 student had produced the sensation of the tournament, beating Australian bowls royalty in Aron Sherriff in the tournament semi-final to book his spot in the decider.
Hanley’s silver medal finish has earned him an invitation to represent Australia at the annual World Cup in March 2017 at Warilla Bowls Club on the NSW South Coast.
Henry is the reigning World Cup champion, and as such, earns direct entry into the tournament. That’s cleared the way for another Australian to be invited, which Bowls Australia has confirmed will be Hanley.
A product of Victoria’s Under 18 program, Hanley is becoming known for his clutch play, and not being overawed by whatever occasion he finds himself in.
Witness his win in the 2015 Victorian Open men’s pairs title with brother Cain when their rivals held two shots for the championship, and Curtis delivered on the last shot to seal victory.
Hanley marched through all his knockout stage matches at the Australian Indoor in straight sets.
It was no different against Sherriff – the current Australian Open champion, a Commonwealth Games medallist and chosen to play singles for Australia at the upcoming 2016 World Bowls Championships.
Hanley played composed, high-quality bowls to beat Sherriff 6-5 9-9 for his biggest career success.
But just three hours after playing the biggest match of his life, he then played a bigger one.
And Hanley can be content with this. It took Henry – the king of indoor play, chasing his third Australian Indoor Championship, to deny the teenager a first.
Henry was in ridiculous form from the get-go. Two resting touchers to kick things off and Henry had raced to an early 7-1 lead after five ends.
The Warilla player wrapped up the set 11-2, before Hanley edged out to a 3-0 second set lead.
Henry responded with a four to take back the lead, before Hanley steadied and threatened to take the match to a tie-break by grabbing an 8-4 lead.
But Henry reeled the youngster in to force him into a tough shot to force a tie-break, which Hanley was unable to pull off.
In an excellent tournament for Victoria, Mulgrave Country Club’s Barrie Lester also made the semi-finals, bowing out to Henry after continuing a rich run of form which has seen the Victorian earn a place in the Australian team for the World Bowls Championships in November.
Henry beat Lester 9-7 10-4. Lester had earlier beaten Mason Lewis (NSW), Matthew Mitchell (WA) and Joshua Bell (NSW) to reach the semi-finals.
Of the other Victorians in action, defending women’s champion Carla Krizanic (Sunbury) made the quarter-finals, before bowing out 6-4 9-9 to Australian rep Dawn Hayman (NSW).
And Melbourne-based Canadian international Kelly McKerihen (Clayton) also made the quarter-finals, losing in a tie-break to Samantha Noronha (NSW).
NSW and Australian player Natasha Scott won the women’s singles final, beating Tasmania’s Rebecca Van Asch.
Full tournament wrap-up at Bowls Australia website