Gunnedah’s Tim Thorning added weight to his bowls resume by winning the prestigious South Pacific junior bowls championship in Wollongong last week.

The 14-year-old won the under 16 open gender singles at the 35th South Pacific tournament, run by Illawarra Zone 16 Bowling Association at Warilla BC on the South Coast, snaring prizemoney of $300.

He was unbeaten in five sectional and finals matches, winning his sectional games by wide margins to qualify for the play-offs.

There he won his quarter final 25-7 but then struck stern opposition from Travis Moran (Warilla BC) in the semi-final, where he scraped home 25-24, after trailing 16-24.

In the final he scored a comfortable 25-17 win over Jacob Aitken, of Corrimal BC.

At the weekend, Thorning followed up his South Coast success by winning the NSWBA Zone 3 junior singles (under 18) at his home club, Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club. 

In the final he defeated Gunnedah clubmate Ella Cameron 25-10 to qualify for the State finals, also at Warilla BC, in July.

Young bowlers from Armidale, Walcha, Gunnedah, Manilla, Barraba, Wee Waa, Tamworth City and South Tamworth clubs took part in the two-day zone fixture. 

The youngest competitor was nine-year-old Coen Schroeder, of South Tamworth BC.

Late last year Thorning was a key figure in the winning NSW Combined High Schools (CHS) which was unbeaten at the interstate carnival in Melbourne. 

He won the six pairs matches he played and at the end of the series was named in the Australian CHS merit side, with NSW bowlers taking eight of the 10 places.

Last year he reached the final of the Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club singles championship, where he was beaten 25-22 by his father Scott, after leading most of the way. A few weeks later, he won the club’s consistency singles, reversing the result of the club singles final.

He has won open and junior tournaments all over the north, as well as gaining invitations to play in major events on the Gold Coast. 

Tim Thorning turns 15 on February 4.

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