Teenage bowler scores crackerjack title win

HE may play at the home of Australian film comedy Crackerjack, but Australia’s latest champion, Dylan Fisher, takes his lawn bowls a little more seriously.

Aged just 18, he is one of the youngest singles winners of the Australian Champion of Champions, which brings together the champions of every state to determine the country’s best bowlers.

‘‘I knew if I just went there and played my best it would go OK, and it did,’’ he said.

Fisher, who plays for Windsor-based club Melbourne, beat his more experienced opponent, Ken Evans, 21-8 in the final at Queanbeyan Bowls Club last month to take his first national singles crown.

He shot to a 7-0 lead and from there was never headed.

‘‘I was really nervous so it was lucky I got off to a good start,’’ he said.

‘‘That sort of eased my nerves and things just went my way.’’

His success qualifies him for the World Champion of Champions tournament, which will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand, next year, a remarkable achievement for someone who has been bowling only eight years.

‘‘It’s something I never thought I could get to,’’ Fisher said.

‘‘I’ve been following the people who have gone there before and thought, ‘Oh geez – I’d love to do that one day’ ... I never thought it would happen.

‘‘Now it has, it’s pretty amazing.’’

Fisher started bowling at the age of 10 after going with his grandparents to their local club.

He made steady progress and now plays in the Melbourne Premier bowls competition, the highest level in the state.

‘‘If you’re a Victorian bowler it’s something you look forward to . . . you live and breathe pennant so it’s really exciting,’’ said Fisher, who lives in Frankston. He made his debut for Australia in Adelaide five months ago, winning gold in the men’s triples, and wants to represent Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

‘‘That’s my highest ambition – that and the world championships in four years,’’ he said.

In the meantime, Fisher fills his time outside bowls studying personal training online, something he says gives him an edge in his closer matches.

‘‘If you’re fitter than your opponent, then maybe you’ve got a bit of an advantage at the end of a long day,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s always interested me and I want to see where it goes.’’

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