After 140 games of singles play, a worthy winner emerged from the strong field of talented young lawn bowlers on the Burnside Bowling Club’s greens last weekend. Taylor Horn, a 23 year old painter and decorator from Auckland‘s Mangere Club, played with flair and skill to win the Burnside Under 26 Singles Tournament from Papakura’s Adam Baillie.
The 32 players provided great entertainment for spectators demonstrating skill and innovation in very competitive matches which resulted in many upsets.
Each player contested seven games in section play with the top two in each of the four sections progressing to a sought after place in Division 1 for the playoffs.
Only two players won all seven of their section games – Burnside’s Richard Hocking and Stoke Valley’s Seamus Curtin. They were joined in Division 1 by Gore’s Sheldon Bagrie-Howley (5 wins), Taylor Horn (4 wins on a count back from four other 4 winners in his section), Cambridge Central’s Jesse Russell (6 wins), Adam Baillie (5 wins on a count back from 2019 winner Finbar McGuigan), Point Chevaliers’ Aiden Takarua (6 wins) and Anthony Ouellet from Bowls Tauranga South (5 wins).
In the quarter finals Russell, Baillie, Horn and Ouellet defeated Bagrie-Howley, Takarua, Curtin and Hocking respectively. After the first round of post-section play all 4 section winners were out of the tournament!
Sunday’s semi-finals and finals games were played in temperatures over 25 degrees with accompanying strong northwest winds. Considering the conditions, the standard of play was high and games were tight. Both Division 1 semi-finals were won 21-20 with Horn defeating Russell while Baillie was successful over Ouellet.
In the final, with the wind gusting, Horn took an early lead but Baillie responded and an appreciative crowd enjoyed a very close match won by Horn 21-18.
Mangere’s Taylor Horn has been playing bowls for just over 10 years. In 2019 he won the Men’s Singles at the National Bowls Championships and he went on to represent New Zealand at the World Bowls Singles Champion of Champions in Adelaide. At 23 years of age he has a very bright future in this sport.
Eighteen year old Adam Baillie is a fourth year player. Adam is an apprentice builder on a course attached to Massey High School and in December 2019 he won the Deaf Lawn Bowls New Zealand Men’s Singles Championship. To come so far in this competition in his first attempt was a real achievement. Adam displayed a natural ability in his shot and decision making. He has a rare talent.
Local players enjoyed mixed success. Burnside’s Richard Hocking was unbeaten in section play including wins against last year’s winner Finbar McGuigan, and Adam Baillie. He lost in the quarterfinal in Division 1. Tayla Bruce was third in her section and went on to win Division 2. She played well during the event winning seven games overall and her losses were by narrow margins. Cait Bassett won three games in total including a win in section play against the eventual winner, Taylor Horn 21-18. Callum Cox and Dan Jelfs were new to this tournament and will have gained a lot from the experience. Dan’s twin sister, Rebecca (Canterbury 2017) won 3 games and narrowly lost the Division 3 semi-final to Under 25 Women’s Singles World Champion, Paris Baker 19-21. Cashmere’s Braeden Casware and Woolston Park’s Dylan Campbell, both in their second year of this event, improved on their last year’s results with some good wins and performances.
Ironically just as play ended the wind eased, and Christchurch enjoyed a calm and warm Spring afternoon…..
Division 1: Taylor Horn (Mangere) def. Adam Baillie (Papakura) 21-18
Division 2: Tayla Bruce (Burnside) def. Tom Taiaroa (West End Timaru) 21-18
Division 3: Paris Baker (New Lyn) def. Chase Bishop (Riverside) 15-9
Division 4: Jeremy Brosnan (Takapuna) def. Brooke Craik (North East Valley) 15-6
Results for all section and post-section games, final placings and photos can be found at www.burnsidebowlingclub.com
Article & Photos supplied by Burnside Bowling Club – Ken Wilson-Pyne & Arjan van Hasselt.