Curtin climb­ing bowls lad­der

Kapi-Mana News - - CLASSIFIEDS - KRIS DANDO

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.’’

PHOTO: FAIRFAX

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.

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