Toby Peters says there is no extra pressure as the reigning Singles and Pairs champion heading into next week’s Junior South Pacific Carnival at Warilla Bowls Club.
Peters at just age 13 won the under 16 Singles crown 12 months ago and partnered Lachlan Freeman to claim the Pairs title at arguably the most prestigious annual junior bowls event in Australia.
Peters will step up to play in the under 18s Open Singles in the 2018 carnival which begins next Monday, while he and Raymond Terrace-based Freeman are again playing together in the Pairs.
‘’It’s a big event and one I love playing in being at my home club Warilla,’’ Peters said, after playing for a third straight year in the open South Pacific at Dapto Citizens BC last week.
‘’But I won’t feel more pressure because of last year. I’ll just do my best again and see what happens. It’ll be good to play with Lachlan again in the Pairs and I’m moving up to the Open singles which will be a good challenge as well.’’
Despite being just 14 years of age, Peters will have no trouble taking on boys and girls aged up to age 17 in the open singles. One of the young stars of the senior South Pacific at Dapto Citizens BC, making the Singles semi-finals and upsetting NSW representative and Warilla clubmate Aaron Teys in their quarter-final.
Teys was hugely impressed with Peters who came from 8-7 down to win 25-22 and book a spot in the semis against Narooma’s Jay Breust, the reigning NSW under 25s singles champion.
Peters has not yet decided if he will play pennants for defending champions Warilla in 2018 but even in the Gorillas’ red-hot Grade 1 squad, Peters will be hard to leave out.
The Junior South Pacific has been showcasing the top junior talent in Australian bowls for 30 years and has an honour list which includes some of the biggest names in bowls including Brett Duprez and Aron Sherriff, and in recent year’s emerging star, Dubbo’s Jono Davis, plus Illawarra young guns including Dylan Skinner, Aaron Teys and Jayden Gebbie.
Top Warilla prospect Gebbie will play in his final Junior South Pacific next week, and along with Peters – who doesn’t turn 15 until April - are among the region’s top prospects.
‘’There should be a strong field this year,’’ Peters said.
‘’Taylor Appleby from Kurri Kurri is playing and will be one to watch as will Hayden Barrow (Dubbo City) who is also a good player.’’
This year’s Junior South Pacific is the 31st annual carnival and will feature around 66 under 18 bowlers, including a record 41 entries for the under 16 singles. The sectional rounds of the under 16 and open singles are next Monday, with a big day of sectional pairs on the Tuesday. The finals are scheduled for Friday week, January 19.
‘’It’s fantastic the support we get each year and the under 16s is going from strength to strength,’’ carnival organiser and former world No.1 Leif Selby said.
‘’For the likes of Jayden (Gebbie) state bowler Louise Cronin (Taren Point) this will be their last Junior South Pacific and they’ll want to go out by playing well.’’