As the North West Regional Champions Justin Bullen (skipper), Aaron Kelly and Matthew Carey competed over two days recently in the NSW Combined High Schools Triples Lawn Bowls Championships at the North Haven Bowling and Recreation Club.
Day 1 of competition saw Duval play 3 games over 12 ends each. Game 1 against Elderslie saw Duval equal at the second last end 11-11, with Duval winning 13-11. In the second game, Duval had a comfortable win over Balranald 16-7. In the final game to decide the winner of the pool, Duval played previously undefeated Sylvania in which the lead was swapped several times during the game. After a very tense and exciting tussle, Sylvania was pipped by Duval 12-13. At the end of Day 1 Duval was the Pool D winner which meant they would play off for a possible spot on the podium.
Day 2 dawned bright and sunny but all was not well. Where was Matt Carey? A phone call confirmed the team's worst fears – Matt wasn't well. So as Justin and Aaron got a feel for the green during the roll-up, team manager, Ms Verwayen, sort clarification with the referees concerning the team's possible forfeiture. To everyone's relief Matt arrived at the club though he was too ill to play. The umpire's ruling was that if Matt was present at the club the team would not have to forfeit; Matt could forfeit his bowls, allowing Justin and Aaron to play. Matt lay on the seat at the end of the rink with cups of tea hoping to recover. Meanwhile Justin and Aaron took on Rutherford, a man down, knowing that they had only 6 bowls on the green compared to Rutherford's 9.
Duval was one up at the 14thend but Rutherford scored 3 in the final 15thend to win 17-15. Duval's defeat meant that Rutherford would play off for 1stagainst Keira while Duval played off against Picton for 3rdin the State.
Against Picton, Aaron and Justin started but Matt recovered enough to play the final third of the game. In a close match Duval prevailed to defeat Picton 14-10 and secure the bronze medallion.
The boys played a very high standard of bowls providing the crowd with some nail-biting games. As skipper, Justin led the team by example, keeping the team focused under pressure. The boys displayed excellent sportsmanship, with all three remaining calm when the going got a bit tough.
Thanks to Ben See and Rory Sutherland who played in earlier knockout games to help Duval become regional champions, and thanks also to the parents for all their support over the season. Special thanks to Mrs Kelly who accompanied the team to Coonabarabran for their round 3 win. Congratulations on a great podium finish!