The National 1-5 Pairs, in its second year, has already become an exciting event on the calendar for bowlers and spectators alike. Not only is it encouraging to see the new bowlers taking to the sport and the opportunities on offer, it is great to see their centres get behind them and follow their results keenly.
Eight zones are represented to create a round robin format of seven games, so there is a huge focus on winning all games and as many ends as possible. The Poverty Bay brothers, Matthew and Dylan Foster, had a magnificent start to the tournament. Carrying on their form from last weekend at the juniors and secondary school events, they won their first five rounds with comfortable margins.
Counties juniors Jordan Newton and Brayden Riggs were another team that stood out early on, stringing together three solid wins. Their winning streak ended in the fourth game when they came across Hutt Valley’s Blair Gowan and Logan Heppell. Jordan gave full credit to his opposition, saying “No matter how well we played, they simply outplayed us.”
With the round four loss, both Jordan and Brayden felt their chances of claiming the title were slim; until it came to their attention they were still in second place. “We knew we had to dig deep, play with everything we had, and win all remaining games.”
After the dinner break, the refocused Counties teenagers were up against the unbeaten Poverty Bay boys. This was a crucial match and both teams knew it. The standard of the bowls from all players was high, but from the third end, Jordan and Brayden always had their nose in front.
It was all on for the final game. Counties to play the Ashburton / Canterbury combination of Alex MacLeod and Keith Hawkins; and Poverty Bay to take on Alan Berrigan and Ewan Tosh from Southland. If both junior teams won or lost, the overall result would be decided on a countback of ends and then points. As it happened though, Jordan and Brayden finished strong with a 15-3 victory, while Matthew and Dylan were toppled 5-9.
This was a great result for Zone One, especially considering the uncertainty around whether or not they could be represented. For Jordan and Brayden, it made the 5am start to their day all worth it. How do they feel now? “Absolutely stoked.”
Congratulations to the 2020 National 1-5 Year Pairs Champions - Jordan Newton and Brayden Riggs!