The State Junior Fours Lawn Bowls Championships came down to the  last bowl, at the last end of the final game for two promising Gunnedah juniors

Tim Thorning, 15, and Jake Martin, 12, were part of the team that won the title in Woolongong last week after a nervous start for the youngsters.

“I had been on the road travelling to other tournaments for the four weeks leading up to this competition, so I was a bit tired,” Thorning said. 

Their team representing Zone 3 consisted of Blayne Cook of South Tamwoth, Tarnee Ingram of Manilla and the two Gunnedah locals, who were anxious heading into their first game and feeling a bit behind. 

“We had not had the chance to practise, we really didn’t catch up with each other because of where we live,” Martin said.

The nerves did not overcome the young team and it was quick to find its form in the first game, coming away with the win.

The second day of competition saw the team confidently win game two when it defeated Zone 6 to earn a place in the semi-finals. This game saw the foursome off to a slow start.

“We just weren’t feeling it,” Tim said.

For the first time in the competition, the Gunnedah representatives were losing, down 19-5. 

Lead bowler, Tarnee Ingram lifted the team, bowling perfect shots, carrying the team to a 19-10 win and a berth in the grand final.

With the biggest win of their careers up for grabs, the young bowlers were feeling the pressure and it showed on the scoreboard, 12- 5 behind with four ends to go. 

“We started terrible,” Martin said. 

The team was quick to make a comeback and with one end to go, Zone 12’s skip drew a great shot to hold game, leaving Thorning to bowl the decider. 

“I took a deep breath, thought to myself, if you’re ever gonna do it, now is your chance,” he said. 

With the luck of the bowling gods he drew a perfect shot to secure the win and the trophy. 

The three-day championship also saw Tim take out the State Junior Singles Championship, a title which was a surprise to the young bowler.

“Everyone gave me big fist pumps, as nobody, not even myself  was expecting me to win,” Thorning said.

The young pair will not be resting their lucky bowls for long though, as Martin is preparing to take on the state again playing for the Reserve 4 Opens State Cup next weekend. Meanwhile Thorning will head to Tweed Heads to play in The Golden Nugget, an invitation-only event for Australia’s top under 18 players bowl it out for the coveted title.

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