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Bowls In Focus : Bowls In Focus May 2010
14 Bowls In Focus Yallour n starlet Lisa Phillips finally clinched the title that has eluded her grasp since bursting into the limelight as a 12-year-old when she powered to vic- tory in the recent Henselite Victorian Under-18 Girls Singles Championship. Phillips, 16, a student at Traralgon’s Lavalla Catho- lic College, defeated rangy Sunbury 14-year-old Chloe Stewart 25-11 in a quality final played under threatening skies at the Clayton Bowls Club. Stewart, a House Captain at Kyneton Secondary College, did little wrong throughout the champion- ship’s two days and displayed the skills that earned her selection as Victoria’s singles representative at recent interstate Test Matches in Adelaide and Geelong. However, in the final she came up against a fiercely determined Phillips and after some stoic resistance in the early stages, was simply outbowled. The pint-sized Yallourn teenager, who recently played for Australia in a Trans-Tasman Junior Series against New Zealand at Birkenhead in Auckland, where she was undefeated in all her singles matches, was in superb touch. After eleven tightly contested ends Phillips held a slender 9-7 lead, before she added seven unan- swered shots to be nine ahead and in full control. But Stewart, who has impressed everyone with her calm dignity in a crisis, responded with a brilliant trail shot on the 18th end to collect a full count of four and loom in striking distance with the score at 16-11. Then, on the very next end, when Phillips held two or three close counters, Stewart struck again when she trailed the jack through to the back of the head where her previous three bowls were stationed and held four. However, there was half a metre between Stewart’s closest and the jack, which was sufficient for Phillips who threaded her final delivery through the pack under enormous pressure to claim the end. It was the most crucial moment of the match and clearly buoyed Phillips, while it may have had the opposite affect on Stewart, who failed to score again as the impish Gippsland teenager pressed home the advantage to capture the championship. Over the past 18 months Phillips has accumulated a swag of titles including the 2008 Victorian Under-25 singles crown, while she won the 2009 Australian Open Under-18 Championship along with the Under- 25 singles at the 2009 NSW Open. In the morning semi finals Phillips held off a fast- finishing Stephanie Priest from Bendigo while Stew- art came from behind to earn her berth in the final against Mooroopna Golf ’s talented Ebony Thatcher. “I’m so happy to have won this title,” Phillips said after the presentations. “M y grandad Roy Har vey, who got me started in bowls, isn’t enjoying the best of health at present so I hope that news of the result will cheer him up.” The enigmatic young star joins an elite group of competitors to have won this championship. Three former winners Stacey Collier, Jessie Eva and Sam Shannahan have gone on to wear the distinctive Aussie green and gold on the inter national stage. As for young Stewart, who is a genuine prospect, it was a case of successive runner-up finishes in this championship. However, at 14 she still has another four years in which to make her statement, so watch this space. - David Allen Victorian Under-18 Girls Singles Championship at Clayton Bowls Club Semi finals: C Stewart (Sunbury) d E Thatcher (Mooroopna Golf) 25-16, L Phil- lips (Yallourn) d S Priest (Bendigo) 25-13. Final: Lisa Phillips (Yallour n) d Chloe Stew- ar t (Sunbury) 25-11 . State Junior Singles Champions 1998 Kim Hopkinson Hamilton 1999 Stacey Collier Mooroopna 2000 Sam Dawson Footscray Park 2001 Jessie Eva Tatura 2002 Jessie Eva Tatura 2003 Jessica Cuffe Lilydale 2004 Jessica Cuffe Lilydale 2005 Jessica Cuffe Lilydale 2006 Sam Shannahan Lara 2007 Sam Shannahan Lara 2008 Melanie Watt Keilor 2009 Michelle Dick Sunbury 2010 Lisa Phillips Yallour n Phillips lifts • Top: Young interna- tional Lisa Phillips on her winning way in the final. • Above: Sunbury’s Chloe Stewart was a worthy finalist in the junior championships. • Below: State presi- dent Maureen Connolly and Peter Sawyer from Henselite flank new champion Lisa Phillips. State Junior Crown
March April 2010
June July 2010