THE young brigade proved too strong in the Summerland Pairs at the Ballina Bowling Club with David Ferguson, 25, and Chris Herdon, 19, taking out an intense final 24-16.
The marathon match yesterday lasted more than three-and-a-half hours with bowls legends Ian Schuback (South Tweed) and Walter Jacobs (Taren Point) eventually succumbing to Ferguson (Engadine) and Herdon (South Tweed).
Making the amazing victory even sweeter for the youngsters was that Herdon had spent the night in hospital with a virus.
The 19-year-old State representative was running on antibiotics through the day and used his one-hour lunch break to have a sleep in his car.
Ferguson paid tribute to the toughness of his lead, who was visibly ill throughout the day’s play.
“Seven games in two days is a hard slog,” Ferguson said.
“The way he was feeling, for him to be able to play the way he did under pressure was amazing.
“He was really starting to struggle towards the end there – I suppose the tablets were taking a toll – but he kept toiling and we managed to stay in front.”
The elder statesmen, Schuback and Jacobs, jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the final, but their younger counterparts hit back with the next nine shots and were never headed.
Every time Schuback and Jacobs set up a big score Ferguson or Herdon would play the spoiler with what seemed like an endless stream of almost perfect bowls.
Ferguson paid tribute to his counterpart after the final.
“I’ve watched ‘Schuey’ for a long time and he is a legend of the sport, so to be able to beat him is a great honour,” he said.
While Herdon was keen to rest after the mammoth day – first bowls were rolled at 9am with the final going past 7pm – Ferguson was keen to celebrate after receiving the $3200 first prizemoney.
“I will probably donate a good portion of that back to the club over the bar tonight,” he said.
Earlier, Ferguson and Herdon had reached the final with a 19-4 win over Ballina pair Ashley Blewer and Des Robinson in the quarter-finals and a 16-11 win over Frank Vogal (Yamba) and Ian Taylor (Kingscliff) in the semi-finals.
Schuback and Jacobs defeated Luke Wade and Rick Barnes (Brunswick Heads) 17-11 in the quarter-finals then Alex Holland and Don Plummer (Iluka) 18-5 in a lopsided semi-final.