He started playing bowls as a six-year-old and now, at 14, Gunnedah’s Tim Thorning has been named in a national-level junior merit team.

Tim earlier this month played in the winning NSW team in the interstate Combined High Schools (CHS) carnival at Club Sunbury in Melbourne, where he won his six pairs matches, four games by one shot, one by three and the other by five.

At the end of play, he was named in the Australian merit side, NSW players filling eight of the 10 places.

Bowls is in Tim’s DNA as his parents, Scott Thorning and mother Angela Marshall, are both club singles champions. 

Scott won the NSW pairs championship in 2014 with another former local champion, Nathan Wise, as well as triples titles at state level, also playing Premier League in Sydney for several years.

Father Scott said Tim had cut his teeth in bowls by rolling up with his miniature bowls set as a two-year-old.

“He couldn’t play on the greens then, of course, but he was coming away to tournaments with me and when he was six or seven, he started rolling up on the green. 

“A few years later, he was playing pennants and in club events and championships, seniors and juniors, and he was 10 or 11 when the club won the zone 3 pennant and played off in the state finals.”

Tim has made rapid progress in the last few years. Twice, he has won the northern zone junior singles title, going on to play in the state finals. This year he reached the semi-final where he led his opponent 22-13 before going down 25-22.

He has also won club and zone championships and open tournaments in Gunnedah, Guyra and Werris Creek and a few months ago received an invitation to play in the prestigious Golden Nugget junior tournament on the Gold Coast. 

The youngster is keen to do well in bowls and loves the competitive aspect of the game.

“You have to concentrate really well. You have to keep your mind on the job every game. I also like catching up with friends in other places.”

He is modest about his achievements, saying “there is nothing better” than a competitive match in singles but also in pairs, triples or fours, “because it becomes a team game then.”

He would like to go on to play pennants at the top level and tournaments all over the eastern states but is happy to “go along” with his career and see where it takes him. One of his ambitions, though, is to beat his father – and he almost did in the recent Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club singles championship final.

There is often good-natured ribbing between the two and Scott Thorning knows that “he’s coming for me. 

“He led for most of the way in our singles final and I only just managed to get around him (25-22).  I don’t think it will be long. But he’s going to have to earn it.

“What I like about him is that he has a very good temperament. Nothing really bothers him. He digs in and tries hard all the time. It will be interesting to see how far he goes.” 

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