Day Two Recap: TBA President’s Junior Shield

By Matt Stevens
April 19, 2024

The second day of the 2024 TBA President’s Junior Shield has wrapped up at the AGL National High-Performance Centre on the Sunshine Coast. With the teams digging deep, the competition intensified across all categories.

North Queensland maintains its lead in the overall standings with a total of 134 points, consistently drawing strong performances from both their male and female teams. South Queensland, with a phenomenal day on the lanes, has surged into second place, accumulating 125.5 points, and closing the gap to just 8.5 points behind the leaders. Northern NSW holds the third position with 120.5 points, making the race for the top spot incredibly tight as we enter the final day of competition.

Victoria retained the top spot despite a tougher day, securing 71 points and a 5-2 record.  After a strong start, Victoria faced setbacks, losing to South Queensland and New Zealand, impacting their previously flawless record. Still capturing three spots in the top five individual standings with Nicholas Rajkovic (2nd), Mitch Wardrop (4th) and Oliver Zaccaria (5th), the navy blues will look to do all they can on day three to starve off the list of challengers nipping at their heels.

With the slight dip in performance from the Vics, South Queensland capitalised on this, finishing the day just one point behind Victoria with 70 points, thanks to key wins including a dominating 7-0 victory over Victoria.

Starting the day with a loss to Northern NSW 1-6, it appeared to hit the team into gear for the rest of the day. The team would win the next six including impressive victories such as the clean sweep 7-0 against the leaders from Victoria. Tyler Clarkson had a day with six of seven wins and is currently averaging 207.4 to sit 8th in the standings. Will Mison continues to shine, also winning six games of seven today for a combined record of 12 wins and 1 loss for the tournament and averaging 203.3.

North Queensland rounds out the top three in the male division with 63 points, after a solid 5-2 record for the day, bolstered by standout performances from their top bowlers.

Leading the charge is 17-year-old NTS18 rising star Blayde Christensen. This young talent from Townsville has had an outstanding championship season, shining in the TPL Next Gen and securing third place in the Australian Masters. Now topping the individual standings, Blayde delivered a stellar performance by winning seven straight games on day two. With an impressive average of 229.8, he not only spearheads his team’s efforts but also leads the individual race.

Nicholas Rajkovic continues to bowl incredibly well collecting five wins from his seven games and averaging 221 throughout the event to sit second on the individual standings. Northern NSW bowler Jake Sayer continues to impress sitting in third place, before a duo of Victorians in Mitchell Wardrop and Oliver Zaccaria.

New Zealand’s Layton Walker set a new high for the tournament with a score of 280 in game five, surpassing Oliver Zaccaria’s 278.

The female division experienced significant changes at the conclusion of day two. After several lead changes throughout the day, Northern NSW surged ahead to top the standings with 71.5 points, recording a strong 6-1 performance. Their sole loss came against the team from North Queensland, who are now just 1.5 points behind. Leading the charge for Northern NSW is Brianna Walsh from Ballina, a standout player, and a member of the renowned Walsh family. Brianna has been exceptional, securing second place in the individual standings with an average of 195.2 over two days and achieving five wins in her seven matches on day two. Supporting her efforts, Vanessa Hannigan holds fifth place, with Aneisha Shipston and Brooke Buckingham close behind in sixth and seventh places, respectively. Notably, Aneisha Shipston claimed six victories on the second day, bolstering the team’s strong showing.

Just 1.5 points behind the leaders, North Queensland, the day one frontrunners, are in close pursuit. Led by NTS18 bowler Emily Hinspeter, who currently holds third place in the individual standings with an impressive average of 195.2. Echoing Northern NSW’s cohesive team effort, North Queensland’s players are closely grouped in the individual standings, occupying positions from 8th to 10th.

South Queensland has moved up to third place, surpassing Victoria and establishing themselves on the podium with 55.5 points, maintaining a 7.5-point lead over both Victoria and New Zealand. Bella Westlake, an NTS18 standout from Zone Bowling Richlands, continues her exceptional performance in the championship, topping the individual standings with an impressive average of 215.1, well ahead of her nearest challenger’s average of 195.2. Bella’s remarkable achievement of five wins in six matches on day two played a crucial role in propelling South Queensland into third place.

Bella Westlake continues to dominate as the top performer of the tournament. Representing Zone Bowling Richlands in Queensland, she has maintained an outstanding average of 215.1, placing her firmly at the top of the standings, well ahead of the nearest challenger who averages 195.2. Bella’s strategic wins—five out of six on day two—were instrumental in pushing South Queensland up to third in the division and second overall. Following her in the All-Star standings are Brianna Walsh in second place, with Emily Hinspeter, Chloe Gee, and Vanessa Hannigan also in contention. The battle for All-Star recognition remains one of the event’s most captivating highlights.

Bella Westlake set a new high game for the females with a 279, taking over from Brianna Walsh.

With just one day and seven games remaining, the TBA President’s Junior Shield is poised for a thrilling conclusion. Tomorrow promises high stakes and fierce competition as teams vie for the Overall, Male, and Female titles. Additionally, we will celebrate the top five All-Stars and present the Jason Belmonte Sportsperson awards. Stay tuned for what promises to be an unforgettable finish!