Skinner dedicates South Pacific win to father

VICTORIOUS: Dylan Skinner. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

VICTORIOUS: Dylan Skinner. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Dapto Citizen’s Dylan Skinner has paid tribute to his late father after claiming his maiden singles title at the South Pacific Carnival.

Skinner’s father passed away last January and he was determined to claim Friday’s final in memory of his father.

Playing in front of a vocal home crowd, Skinner claimed a thrilling 31-29 victory over Narooma’s Jay Breust in Friday’s final.

The match was a back and forth tussle between two men seeking their first singles title but in the end it was Skinner who held his nerve in the deciding ends to claim the singles crown at the 59th South Pacific Carnival.

“He’d be pretty stoked,” Skinner said. “South Pacific’s always something that I played in every year. He always liked watching me play singles, so to win the singles I’m pretty sure he’d be pretty proud, so I’m pretty happy.”

Breust jumped out to a big early lead after picking up two four-shot ends but Skinner slowly clawed his way back into the match before jumping out to a big lead of his own midway through the match. 

“I was stoked to get away to one of the best leads you can get,” Breust said. “Dylan didn’t quite have a rhythm at that time, and then after that he just kicked into real hot form and started dominating.”

A third four-shot end brought Breust right back into the contest and the two players went shot for shot until Skinner landed the decisive blow in the 33rd and final end.

“I had the one shot already so I had one hand on the trophy,” Skinner said. “I was a bit nervous playing the last bowl, I was shaking as I walked up to the other end. 

“I just said to myself ‘I’ll just chuck it out wide’, that end was coming back pretty hard, so I chucked it out there. 

“I was lucky enough that I just had the right amount of weight to sneak around Jay’s front bowl for the win.”

The match kept the large crowd enthralled throughout it’s entirety and Skinner was appreciative of the support he received.

“The support was pretty good. Jay had a lot of support here too, but the Citos [Dapto Citizens] guys here, they showed up today, they really got behind me. 

“If it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t have won the game, so for the supporters, thank you very much.”

Earlier in the day, John Green added a record 11th South Pacific title to his resume when his team, skippered by Brett Duprez, won the fours competition.

The team of Duprez, Green, Wes Falconer and Barry Martin, jumped out to an early lead, before holding on late to claim a 26-20 victory over Guy Vozza, Aaron Spears, Mick Ugarenko and Jack Forbes. Duprez was proud of his team’s efforts throughout the tournament.

“The guys got better and better each game,” Duprez said. “We played well as a team right throughout the carnival and that showed in the final, where they were very reliable and around it all the time. 

“They put the pressure on up the front and I just had to sit back and play a couple here and there and finish off the ends.”

South Pacific rookie Ray Pearse has capped an impressive first tournament with victory in the pairs competition.

The experienced Cabramatta and NSW bowler combined with Warilla’s Aaron Teys to claim an eventful 23-16 victory over Shane Garvey and Shane Leonard.