Fifteen years of South Pacific carnivals has never delivered a better day than yesterday for Warner Jones, who won three matches to reach Thursday's singles quarter-finals at Fairy Meadow BC.
Three knockout wins by a combined 10 shots put the Figtree Bowlo No 3 pennant bowler in among some of the tournament's biggest names in what Jones described as "one of my best ever days".
The knockabout 57-year-old who prefers to play in the No 3 pennants for Figgy Bowlo rather than "have to train" in the No 1 team, will take on his 14-year-old clubmate Dylan Skinner in Thursday's quarter-finals.
"This is a big tournament and to get this far is a bit of a dream," Jones said.
"I've never done any good in singles here and the past three years I've opted out of singles and played pairs and fours. To get this far is great - who knows I might be able to go a bit further.
"It's the great thing about bowls - you can play No 3 pennants and on one good day beat players that on another day you'd never have a chance of beating."
Jones began his knockout run yesterday with a 25-20 win over the highly-regarded Mal Lyons, then beat Shellharbour's Robbie Baker 25-23.
In his third match of the day, Jones outlasted Windang's David Tyrrell 25-23 to set up a clash against Skinner who beat Paul Leckey (Nth Manly) 25-6, Jack Forbes (Thirroul) 25-21 and Corrimal's Paul Sweeny 25-16.
It had already been a memorable 2012 for Jones after helping his Figgy Bowlo No 3 pennant team win the Illawarra Zone 16 title.
"Winning a zone flag was something I always wanted to achieve. Now we have to move up to the 2s; I hope there's no training required," Jones joked.
Meanwhile, top Warilla youngster Jesse Noronha will take on defending champion Shane Garvey in a quarter-final on Thursday.
Garvey was made to work hard to reach the last eight by Warilla veteran Ted Clarke in a 25-23 win.
Noronha was in terrific touch in his three wins.
Brett Pieper will take on John Green in a stand-out quarter-final clash, while Mooloolaba's James Webster takes on Cabramatta's Michael Clarke in the other quarter-final.
The singles semi-finals will be played from 1pm on Thursday and following a rest day today the carnival continues tomorrow morning with the knockout rounds in pairs at headquarters Fairy Meadow BC.