Gifted teenager Dylan Skinner has his sights on being a singles contender in the South Pacific carnival after yesterday winning his three sectional matches at headquarters Fairy Meadow Bowling Club.
The 14-year-old is one of Australia's most promising players and a member of the 10-man boys under-18s squad under national coach Steve Glasson.
Skinner was among the 43 section winners at 16 Illawarra clubs yesterday to qualify for Monday's knockout round.
Making his debut for Figtree RSL in No 1 pennants as a 13-year-old, Skinner starred for NSW at the Australian under-18s titles to be selected in the national 18s squad.
With the squad soon to be cut to five boys ahead of the Trans-Tasman series against New Zealand in March, Skinner believes a good South Pacific showing will impress coach Glasson.
"Steve will be watching how I go and if I go well that'll help in getting one of those five spots," he said.
"My goal is to make the semis in singles. There's a lot of good players here but I think I can be a contender."
Skinner was pushed all the way in a 25-23 win by Towradgi Park's Rod Busst in his opening singles game and trailed Wiseman Park's Scott Davidson in his final game, before scraping through 25-23.
Former Illawarra District singles champion David Tyrrell provided the boilover of the day taking section nine which included Glasson, one of bowls' biggest names. In their second match, Tyrrell beat Glasson 25-24 in a thriller then went on to win his last game to take the section.
Section one at Fairy Meadow provided one of the matches of the day with Terrigal's Peter Freestone beating 12-year-old Jono Davis (Dubbo Railway) 25-24 in the section decider.
The 2010 singles champion John Green posted three big wins (3 wins + 51) to ease into the knockout round, as did defending singles champ Shane Garvey (3 wins + 52).
John Harriott (Cootamundra Ex Services) didn't have to play his third match after two strong wins, while North Manly's Paul Leckey (3 wins + 41) backed up his fours effort by qualifying.