Pint-sized champion


IT was an unusual sporting match up of biblical proportions ? a David and Goliath clash on the lawn bowling green.

The battle field was Byron Bay Bowling Club last Sunday and at stake, the Zone 1 Junior Singles Championships.

Yamba's 11-year-old pint-sized rookie Jamie Eichorn, representing Yamba-Clarence District, was taking on Tweed-Byron District champion, 17-year-old, Keenan McClelland.

McClelland is nicknamed Willy Mason and built along the same lines as the Canterbury Bulldogs and Australian front-rower. The pair's dimensions made for an odd sight.

Eichorn felled his opponent to the tune of 31-17 and made his way into the final against another 11-year-old, last year's giant killer and Zone 1 winner, Aaron Teys, the Northern Rivers District champion.

In difficult conditions, between rain showers and gusting winds, Eichorn triumphed 31-25 to become Zone 1 champion.

He will now represent Zone 1 against 15 rivals at the NSW Championships at Warilla in July.

Eichorn, who attends Yamba Public School, took up bowls two years ago.

"I used to go and watch dad (Brian) play and one day I just asked if I could have a roll up and I've liked it (bowls) from there," he said.

"I didn't want to keep watching dad. I wanted a go myself.

"Dad still gives me a few tips, pointers on what to do and what not to do but I've got a coach now (Brian Newell)."

Newell also coaches another promising young Clarence Valley bowler, Nick Parlevliet.

Of his victory over McClelland in the semi-finals, Eichorn was nonplussed.

"I thought it would be a lot harder. I beat him pretty easy in the end," he said. "Representing the Zone is pretty good. A lot of the people at the club (Yamba) have congratulated me. It's good.

"I used to play soccer, cricket and golf but I haven't got the time now.

"I like bowls and I've just gone on from there. I practise on Thursday's and play on Friday and sometimes Saturday.

"I just like playing bowls. Maybe one day I can win some money."

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