U18 Boys win Australian Title with Girls Claiming Medals
The Australian Under-18 Championships culminated in an overall Boys’ Championship Trophy for Victoria, and medals across all but one discipline, including two in the Girls’ Pairs.
The first medal of the final day came from Bailee Randell representing the NSW-Victoria Composite Side in the Boys’ Singles Bronze Medal playoff. Bailee adjusted well to dramatically changing conditions to defeat his Tasmanian opponent. Starting the day on lightning fast greens and battling strong winds, Bailee overcame slowing greens in still evening conditions that were in stark contrast to earlier games.
That win was soon followed by the pairing of Addy Ryan and Lily Dodd, also representing the NSW-Victorian Composite Side, who won their Bronze Medal playoff, also against Tasmania. The Victorian girls dominated, with both players proving their talent by adjusting to the slowing early-evening greens.
The Boy’s Fours lineup of Will Mays, Nick Rowley, Charlie Boswood, and Josh Cartwright, played off for Gold but struggled to get a foothold as NSW jumped out of the gates to gain an early lead which they maintained throughout the contest. The Vic boys collected Silver in a match they fought hard to the end.
In the final medal match of the night, the Girls’ Pairs team of Maddi Jacobs and Amity Bickley played strong bowls throughout, holding off a late charge by NSW to claim the title. It was a nail-biter of a finish as NSW made ground in the closing ends, but persistence and teamwork saw Maddi and Amity earn the Australian title.
While Akasha Fortune, Emilee Davies, and Maya Rees did not secure a medal in their events this year, they all certainly showed glimpses of their best with a resounding victory over South Australia in the middle of the days play. Their efforts contributed to the Victorian Team being named overall Runners-Up of the Championships. We have no doubt the experience has been valuable and we expect to see more great performances ahead for the trio, along with the rest of their teammates.
Victoria claimed the Overall Boys’ Team Trophy for consistent and outstanding performances across all disciplines, and were unlucky not to claim the Overall Team Trophy, won by NSW.
Congratulations to the duo of Josh Cartwright and Amity Bickley, named Players of the Championships for their outstanding performances throughout the event.
Bowls Victoria would like to thank Bowls Australia, the Sorrento Bowling Club, and the community of volunteers who made this event possible. Thanks to AM Sportswear for their ongoing support of the State Side program, and we also extend our gratitude to all the families and friends who were able to attend and provide such spirited and vocal support. It was wonderful for the athletes, several of whom will conclude their time in the juniors after this event, to share their success with the people who have supported their journey thus far.
Thank you also to State Coach, Matt Flapper, and Assistant Coach, Nicole Shortis, acting on Steph Priest’s behalf, who was unavailable due to work commitments. The experience and mentorship available from both these incredibly knowledgeable bowlers is an absolute luxury for our Victorian junior bowlers, for which we are thankful.