THE young brigade’s invasion of the bowling greens is complete after 16-year-old Jamie Eichorn took out the 45th Summerland Singles tournament 31-24 over Mick Anderson at Ballina yesterday.
Eichorn, from Yamba, became the youngest winner of the tournament and completed a series sweep for the next generation of bowlers after David Ferguson, 25, and Chris Herdon, 19, claimed the pairs.
Ballina’s NSW singles champion, Anderson, began the final in fine form drawing close to the jack regularly, but Eichorn had his own aggressive tactics, driving at every chance to clear out Anderson’s good bowls.
The strategy worked to great effect for Eichorn, unsettling Anderson and opening up a 16-7 lead early and smashing a jack into three pieces in the process.
After falling behind by 13 Anderson began to find his rhythm and dragged himself back to within a shot of Eichorn at 25-24, but the relentless consistency of the youngster made him the undeniable winner.Exhausted after a long day on the greens, Eichorn humbly savoured his biggest moment in the sport.
“I went out there hoping I would give him a good game, I was just happy to get the chance,” Eichorn said.
“This is my biggest achievement in bowls, the most money I have won; I am buggered but I am proud.”
Eichorn pocketed a cool $3500 cash for taking the title.
Anderson, who had the support of more than 400 locals who turned out to see the final, could have capped of his best year with a win on his home green but became the latest victim of the youth movement in bowls.
“I can really see a bit of myself in young Jamie; draw and drive, it’s the way to go,” Anderson said.
Earlier in the day Eichorn beat the mercurial Reece Wilson (Ballina) to earn his place in the final.
Wilson had won through to the semis by defeating tournament favourite Ian Taylor.
Anderson booked his place in the final match by defeating Brendan Baker (Armidale City).
Reece Wilson (Ballina) 25 d Ian Taylor (Kingscliff) 18, Jamie Eichorn (Yamba) 25 d Michael Petrou (Brunswick Heads) 20, Brendan Baker (Armidale City) 25 d Kris Lehfeldt (Pottsville) 24, Mick Anderson (Ballina) 25 d Clay Parker (Raymond Terrace) 16.
Jamie Eichorn 25 d Reece Wilson 16, Mick Anderson 25 d Brendan Baker 21.
Jamie Eichorn 31 d Mick Anderson 24.