Curtin climbing bowls ladder
There was a matter of millimetres between Seamus Curtin and a national bowls final last month.
The Plimmerton 15-year-old was by far the youngest bowler to make the semi-finals of the national pairs event in Christchurch.
He and partner Euan Wong – both representing the Stokes Valley club – surprised many by going through unbeaten in qualifying, section and post-section play, before running into the experienced Australian pair of Andrew Howie and Greg Dale.
The youngsters went down only 20-19 and it took a measure on the final end to seal their fate.
‘‘We had a really good start to the match and then it went up and down,’’ Curtin said.
‘‘We were two down on the last end and Euan got one point back. We thought his last bowl was close enough to get another point and go to an extra end, but the measure showed we’d just missed out.
‘‘It was that close. We were gutted, but happy to get as far as we did.’’
Curtin had only played one other tournament with 22-yearold Wong, but said they have a chemistry that worked.
‘‘We understand how the other plays and we’ve both played at national level.
‘‘It’s a partnership that’s working.’’
The environment at the Burnside club for the nationals was welcoming, Curtin said, and many of the younger bowlers stuck together off the greens.
He didn’t make it through singles qualifying into the main draw, but said his run with Wong was a valuable experience.
Curtin and Wong were afterwards named in the New Zealand men’s development squad, capping off an incredible 12 months for Curtin.
He earned a silver medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, was named the New Zealand under-18 player of the year, won the College Sport Wellington singles and pairs titles, and has been a constant on the radar for selectors at various age group events.
Curtin has the trans-Tasman series in March, but the reality of school and his first year of NCEA could bite hard.
‘‘I just have to learn to manage my time well.
‘‘Bowls is a big priority for me, though.’’
Seamus Curtin, left, and pairs partner Euan Wong made the semi-finals at the recent nationals, and the duo are in the Blackjacks development squad to play their Australian counterparts in March.