The bigger the reputation, the better the performance from Aaron Teys, who stormed into the South Pacific singles final with a 31-25 victory over four-time singles champion Shane Garvey at Warilla yesterday.
Playing his first South Pacific singles, Teys is on track to deliver Warilla a wonderful start to its 50th year when he takes on Cabramatta's Jeff Smith in tomorrow's final.
Smith, formerly of St Johns Park, won the Zone 12 singles titles last year. His semi-final against Australian bowls legend Steve Glasson was nip-and-tuck throughout, with Smith making some late key bowls in a 31-28 win.
Earlier in the day, Smith won six of the final nine ends to outlast Towradgi's Jamie Johanson 25-23 in an excellent quarter-final.
Australian bowls coach Glasson trailed his talented son Ben for much of their 25-up quarter-final, including 20-16. But the extra experience proved significant, with Steve Glasson winning five of the last six ends to reigster a 25-21 victory.
Meanwhile, the in-form Teys followed up a comeback 25-23 win over precocious 15-year-old Dylan Skinner in their quarter-final with a near faultless front-running display of draw bowls against Garvey.
Playing on his home green, Teys led 11-1, 19-7 and 24-12, then held his nerve to see off a Garvey fightback.
"I couldn't quite believe how good a start I made, but I knew Garves would fight back and I just wanted to stay calm and keep playing my game," Teys said.
"To make the final and be still in the pairs [quarter-finals] with Mat [McIntyre] has made it a great week."
Teys admitted there was extra motivation to play well in the carnival after giving up Christmas at home in Ballina, which would have also included defending the Summerland Singles title.
"Not going home made me want to do well here for sure," he said.
" I'm playing well and want to keep it up with Mat in the pairs and hopefully one more good match in the singles."
Teys has played exceptionally well in a formidable section of the draw, having beaten world No 2 and Warilla 1 clubmate Jeremy Henry in the second knockout round, then accounting for Merrylands' Mathew Searle 25-17 in the round of 16.
Teys trailed the talented Skinner 20-11 on 16 ends before winning five ends in a row and eight out of the last 10 to get home 25-23.
"Once I got on a bit of a roll I was able to keep it going and nail a few of my own and sneak home."
The carnival continues this morning with the pairs quarter-finals.
Teys and Garvey face off again, with Garvey and his Wiseman Park clubmate Robin Smith the defending pairs champions.
Teys and his new Warilla clubmate McIntyre have been in great form in their first tournament together since their junior days.
Their clash with Smith and Garvey should be a standout.