LIAM HYSLOP Story from Dominion Post, September 23 2015.
Seamus Curtin wins bowls silver at Youth Commonwealth Games
Seamus Curtin Lawn Bowler NZ Representative from Plimmerton Bowling Club has returned from Commonwealth Youth Games 2015 Samoa with a silver medal in mens singles.
A big shout out of thanks to Plimmerton Croquet Club for preparing a strip alongside their greens for Seamus to prepare for the changed conditions he was to meet.
Today also presented his experiences to Plimmerton School.
Seamus Curtin has achieved his goal of winning a medal at the Youth Commonwealth Games.
The 15-year-old Aotea College student put in an outstanding performance to overcome all but one of his opposition in winning silver in the singles at the Games in Samoa earlier this month.
He followed up that result with fourth in the mixed pairs alongside Ashleigh Jeffcoat (Hamilton Girls').
The singles didn't start as he planned, suffering a loss in his first pool game to Englishman Bradley Coles.
But he wasn't too put off by the loss, saying he was still adjusting to the greens in Apia.
"I lost my first game to England, but I was really happy, it was nice to get hold of how the green was going.
"Our greens over here range from 16 seconds upwards, that's how fast the bowl gets down to the other end, and over there it was running about 13 seconds.
"It was much different, so it means a completely different game."
He had tried to prepare for the different conditions by practising on Plimmerton Bowling Club's croquet green, but nothing can replace rolling on the actual green.
Once he had adjusted to the conditions, he won his next four games to make the semifinal, against Northern Irishman Stephen Kirkwood.
The match proved to be a tense affair, he said.
"It was neck and neck the whole way in the semifinal and he got a bit ahead, he got to two points left.
"He was playing short ends, so I won an end and put the jack long and got a three to win [21-19]."
The final did not go to plan - a 21-14 loss to Australian Jonathan Davis - but Curtin said he was pleased with how he played.
"He played really well, I wasn't too disappointed in how I played. I lost, but he played a really good game."
The mixed pairs came after the singles, so Curtin and Jeffcoat were already adjusted to the conditions and won all their pool matches.
Unfortunately, things didn't go as they would have liked in the knockout stages, Curtin said.
"We went into the semifinal and we just didn't have our momentum into that game and just couldn't find the rink.
"We played Cook Islands and they played a really good game as well.
"We played better in the bronze medal match, but again they just played better than us, but we were happy with fourth."
Curtin played from 7.45am to 5pm for three days straight and said the 30 degrees Celsius heat took its toll from early on.
"It wasn't draining so much physically but mentally. Our coach was really strict on keeping the fluids up to keep focused, so I was drinking about four bottles of water per game."
Curtin will now travel to an under-26 championship in Christchurch this week, before his focus turns to nationals at the end of the year.
When asked for one thing he would take away from his Games experience, he said it was the camaraderie in the New Zealand team across all the sports as everyone would show up to support their team-mates.
"It was a really memorable moment, you just look around and see so many athletes and you think they're all so good at what they do and it's just really cool to be amongst them.
"Even if someone lost they'd still come support, it was really cool to have so many people watch bowls.
"You wouldn't think under-18 players would want to watch it when they could go watch athletics or weightlifting or archery, but it was cool to have their support."