Under 18 Championship Week 2017
Sunbury’s Ethan Higgins and Clayton’s Natasha Russell are the 2017 Victorian Under 18 singles champions.
Higgins beat Cooper Wescombe 25-20 in the boys singles final, while Russell capped off an amazing week with a 25-17 win over fellow Australian Under 18 representative Mikayla Long (Sunbury) in the girls final.
The singles was held on the final day of Under 18 Championship Week for 2017, hosted in perfect conditions on quality greens at Sunbury Bowling Club.
Higgins’ move to Sunbury has paid dividends – the youngster working with State Under 18 coach Mark Cowan on all aspects of his game and improving to the point of becoming a State champion.
In a tense match against Wescombe, Higgins picked up an important four late in the match to give him the edge he needed in a high-quality final against his Glenroy opponent.
The girls final was exactly what you’d expect from two national Under 18 squad members – quality bowls throughout.
Russell had opened up a big lead from midway through the match. But clearly at home on her home green, Long fought back to narrow the margin and force the Clayton teenager to produce all the way to the end.
For Russell, the State Under 18 singles championship win capped off a huge week. Russell was part of the Sandbelt team which won the Women’s Region Sides Championship at Swan Hill a few days earlier.
Bundoora RSL’s Riley Hodgson also had a tremendous Under 18 Championship Week. He won two state titles – the mixed pairs with Central Victorian youngster Kira Bourke and the Open Triples with Brad Pavey (Leopold) and Ethan Preston (Lilydale).
Girls singles final: Natasha Russell (Clayton) 25 d Mikayla Long (Sunbury) 17
Boys singles final: Ethan Higgins (Sunbury) 25 d Cooper Wescombe (Glenroy) 20
Open Triples final: Brad Pavey (Leopold Sportsman’s), Ethan Preston (Lilydale), Riley Hodgson (Bundoora RSL) 20 d Jack Thompson (Moonee Valley), Blake Andrews (Moonee Valley), Cooper Wescombe (Glenroy) 18
Mixed pairs final: Kira Bourke (Maryborough Golf), Riley Hodgson (Bundoora RSL) 17 d Emma Simmonds (Mildura), Cameron Keenan (Bendigo East) 8
Girls pairs final: Lisa Trewarne (Sunbury), Mikayla Long (Sunbury) 16 d Jemma Russell (Ringwood), Natasha Russell (Clayton) 15
Boys pairs final: Grant McLaren (Colac), Lauchlin Davies (Fitzroy Victoria) 17 d Mitch Cole (Kangaroo Flat), Ethan Higgins (Sunbury) 14