The inaugural Sydney BowlFest was the talk of the town as the best junior and youth bowlers from Australia and New Zealand gathered to compete in the second junior and youth division ranked events of the season.
The atmosphere was electric as the young athletes battled it out for the coveted titles. A whopping 464 squad entries were received with a total of 643 qualifying nominations for the event that saw some long nights to complete the format.
“This is the biggest non-national championship we have ever run at the centre, and it was amazing to see the bowl pumping with how many athletes attended,” explained Tenpin City manager Dion Alexander. “We had around 40% more than we expected and many stayed around until the title matches took place which created a fantastic atmosphere to crown our champions”.
The Sydney BowlFest not only hosted two ranked events, the Sydney Junior Cup and Sydney Youth Cup, but also had divisions for Under 13’s and Under 15 aged bowlers.
The 45th running of the Junior Sydney Cup didn’t disappoint with many twists and turns throughout the event. A battle between New Zealand and Australia was the outcome in the title matches providing an electric atmosphere in the bowl.
New Zealander Natasha Goggin wrapped up a successful tournament by claiming the female Junior Sydney Cup trophy. Entering as the number one seed after matchplay, Goggin would defeat North Queensland’s Emily Hinspeter in the title match 222-147.
Another New Zealander Ronan Richardson would enter the male division title match as the number one seed. Winning six of his seven matchplay games, Richardson would bowl a 300 in his sixth game of matchplay to head to the title match full of confidence.
His opponent was Ballina superstar Blake Walsh. The Australian would win the first match 214-200 to force a re-challenge from the NZ bowler before closing the door shut by winning 189-169 in the deciding game to hand Walsh his first ranked title for 2023.
In the Sydney Youth Cup, a battle between two National Training Squad 21 athletes occurred in the female division.
After heading to matchplay as the highest qualifier, South Australian Brooklyn Brooks continued her hot form in the matchplay to head to the title match as the number one seed. Her opponent would be Tamika Pettigrew who finished as the second-highest qualifier and then maintained her spot as the second seed after matchplay with four victories.
Pettigrew would strike first blood defeating Brooks 201-178 in game one to force a re-challenge. The young talented Queenslander would claim her second career title and first of 2023 with Pettigrew defeating Brooks 177-161 in the decider.
In the male division, the title match would once again be a New Zealand v Australia matchup with young Ben Pettit and Australian Cameron Stein battling it out in the title match.
With bonus pins activated in the matchplay stage, Pettit would claim the number one seed after winning six of his seven encounters. His opponent in the title match would be Queenslander Cameron Stein. An incredible matchplay stage saw Stein average 238 but only claim four of seven wins, giving the nod to Pettit as the top seed.
Stein would force a re-challenge from Pettit after defeating the New Zealander 224-198 in game one. In the re-challenge, the young New Zealand superstar would deliver an outstanding 277 game to defeat Stein 277-245 for the crown.
Some fantastic bowling was also witnessed in the two other divisions events that occurred – the Under 15 and Under 13 titles.
Two names shone brighter than others in the matchplay stages of the events with William Zaccaria from Wyncity Point Cook in Victoria winning the under 15 title on offer, whilst local Tenpin City bowler Jayden Tran would be crowned the under 13 champion.
An incredible display by both bowlers saw both average over 200 (210 for Zaccaria and 203 for Tran) on their way to claiming the titles. Zaccaria would claim six of seven wins while Tran went a perfect seven from seven to claim the under-13 trophy.
As the presentations got underway to crown the several champions, the excitement didn’t end there. A special presentation was held to acknowledge Samantha Clifton and Blake Walsh, who was named in the recent Commonwealth Games New South Wales (CGNSW) Athlete program.
We thank CGNSW Chief Executive Peter Tate who was on hand with other dignitaries to award the two bowlers with certificates to acknowledge and recognise them for their hard work and dedication to the sport.
The Sydney BowlFest was a huge success, with the best junior and youth bowlers from Australia and New Zealand coming together to showcase their skills. The event was a testament to the talent and passion that exists in the young brigade of bowlers of the two countries, and it was clear that the future of the sport was in good hands.
High Game –
300 Games – Ronan Richardson, Ben Pettit
Top performances for each day/stage:
- Qualifying Male Un18 – Blake Walsh – 2,135, 237.2 Avg.
- Qualifying Female Un18 – Emily Hinspeter – 1,763, 195.9 Avg.
- Qualifying Male Un21- Blake Walsh – 2,135, 237.2 Avg.
- Qualifying Female Un21 – Brooklyn Brooks – 1,926, 214 Avg.
- Matchplay Male Un18- Ronan Richardson – 1,682
- Matchplay Female Un18 – Natasha Goggin – 1,509
- Matchplay Male Un21 – Cameron Stein – 1,668
- Matchplay Female Un21 – Brooklyn Brooks – 1,447