The festive period for the typical 14-year-old on the South Coast would usually be spent at the beach, but Toby Peters had other giant-killing plans.
Swapping the surf for the greens at Dapto Citizens Bowling Club, the talented young bowler navigated his way through to a singles quarter-final appearance at the prestigious South Pacific Carnival, which was the tournament’s 59th instalment.
His opponent in the quarters, none other than Jackaroo and Australian 25th ranked bowler Aaron Teys.
Well and truly holding the underdog tag, after a slow start Peters wrestled back momentum off Teys and won the contest 25-22 in what was described as the match of the carnival.
Despite bowing out later in the semi-finals, the win could prove a timely confidence booster for the youngster who has a massive year ahead, having just been called into the Illawarra Zone 16 Under 25 squad and now very much in the eyes and ears of selectors for the Zone 16 open side.
Peters, a NSW Under 18 squad member, is widely considered as the next powerhouse player to emerge from super club Warilla and his performance at the South Pacific Carnival reaffirms that.
Close friends on and off the green being Warilla colleagues, Teys was commended for his constant sportsmanship throughout the match and will no doubt play a vital role in the development of Peters.
In other developments, tournament officials announced they are considering significant changes to the carnival as of next year, with a look to open some part of competition to both male and female competitors.
South Pacific Carnival results:
Singles – Dylan Skinner (W) / Jay Breust (R/U)
Pairs – Aaron Teys & Ray Pearse (W) / Shane Garvey & Shane Leonard (R/U)
Fours – Barry Martin, Brett Duprez, John Green & Wes Falconer (W) / Mick Ugarenko, Guy Vozza, Jack Forbes & Aaron Spears (R/U)
Player of the Carnival – John Green
Contribution by James Berriman – Regional Bowls Manager (South East NSW & ACT)