2024 National Development Series – Day 1 wrap

by Val Febbo on July 10, 2024

The opening day of the 2024 National Development Series kicked off at Club Tweed with the up and coming stars of Australian bowls battling it out for vital experience in tournament play.

Team Yellow would overcome Team Blue across the seven contests, while Team Green defeated Team Red in their matchup.

It was a tight tussle between Yellow and Blue, with the former saluting in more matches on the day but going down by a measly two shots.

The canary donned squad took a clean sweep in the opening session across the men’s pairs and mixed triples before Cohen Litfin took the singles for Yellow to make it three on the trot.

Blue finally got on the board in the mixed fours, with the Sophie Kurzman skipped squad sealing a 22-11 victory that would narrow the shot differential to three.

Samantha Atkinson and Kate Matthews then sealed the tie for Yellow with a monumental 22-9 win over Amity Bickley and Kurzman before Jack Lewis and Kyle Hansen pegged a win back in a men’s pairs victory against Dale McWhinney-Shillington and Litfin.

The final match was a para men’s singles clash between Yellow’s Cooper Whitestyles and Blue’s Michael Vassallo.

The Queenslander needed a 12-shot win to at least even the shot differential, and he looked in glorious touch as he raced to a 15-2 lead.

Vassallo then managed to secure five across the next two ends to narrow the gap to eight and seemingly gaining some momentum, but Whitestyles was undeterred and raced home to secure the final six shots unanswered to gain a consolation prize on shots up.

Like the first matchup, Team Green would win more rubbers to clinch the tie but go down on shots to the Red squad.

The teams split the first two matches before Green made their move with the Kate Argent-Bowden skipped mixed fours team overcoming Chloe Morrison’s quartet 11-10 and Kane Nelson defeating Beau Prideaux 21-9 in the singles.

Needing just one more victory to take the tie, Green would have to wait after Morrison and Kira Bourke defeated Jack East and Argent-Bowden 23-9 to narrow the shot differential as Team Red looked to forge a comeback.

However, the contest would be over in the next matchup as Jack McShane and Nelson overcame Joseph Clarke and Prideaux 27-13.

In the final match, Lucas Protopapas enjoyed a sensational 21-3 win over Jodie Nikolic to seal the shot differential for his team despite the loss.

The 2024 National Development Series runs from July 9-11, 2024, with live streaming on BA’s YouTube channel, updates AND live scoring via BowlsLink and daily wrap articles on the Bowls Australia website.

* The opening match of days two and three will not be live streamed as matches will be switched indoors in order to provide bowlers with the best experience as possible.