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Bowls - 29. September 2011.

Stars to shine at Under 18 Australian Bowls Championships

Stars set to shine

The Australian Under-18 Championships are poised for a blistering start next week and there has never been a better opportunity for the game's next generation of stars to announce themselves on the nation's biggest stage.

Staged at the host venue of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, the Darebin International Sports Centre, the four-day carnival has been used as a stepping stone over the years for some of the game's finest talents.

In years gone by, Commonwealth Games gold medallists Lynsey Armitage and Mark Casey, who scaled the top of the dais in Melbourne, commenced their careers at the tournament and there may well be one of their predecessors present at DISC this week.

The early mail points to the likes of Sean Mawdsley and Renee McPharlin, who will represent NSW and South Australia respectively, although both will face steep competition in their disciplines.

Mawdsley will come up against Victorian star and reigning champion Dylan Fisher in the singles and pairs, someone the richly-talented NSW youngster is used to locking horns with, having battled off in the finals of the 2009 and 2011 Junior Golden Nugget .

It was Fisher who prevailed on both occasions, with Mawdsley sadly notching up three consecutive runner-up finishes after losing to former state teammate Jamie Eichorn in 2010.

Mawdsley will go into the event with high expectations and will be keen to turn the tide in his favour during this tournament.

"I've put a lot of pressure on myself," Mawdsley declared prior to the event.

"I've got high expectations and really want to win the section.

"Dylan's a strong competitor, we're two wins all at the moment and I really want to get the edge on him."

The girls' singles could prove to be a difficult affair, with South Australia's Renee McPharlin eager to continue her recent form against reigning title holder Kristina Krstic, having defeated the West Australian 25-10 to claim this year's Junior Golden Nugget.

"I'm very keen to continue my form," McPharlin said in the lead up to the event.

"Every opponent will be difficult, but we've trained hard all year.

"I'll just take it one day at a time but it would be nice to meet Kristina in the final."

In the girls' pairs, McPharlin and Breeanna Dickson have earnt the right to defend their title and will again be hard to beat, having formed a formidable partnership together.

"It would be great if Breeanna and I could go back-to-back," McPharlin said.

Also earning the right to defend their crown is SA's triples champions Danielle Fuss and Cassandra Harvey. The pair return with Emma Hughes up front, replacing Prudence Goonan from Broadbeach last year.

In the fours, the race seems bit more open, with the likes of the ACT and Tasmania vying for their first success in the discipline, while Dawn Hayman and Stephanie Hill look to defend their title with Tayla Conway and Rheni Austin slotting into the line-up.

The Australian Under-18 Championships will be staged at the Darebin International Sports Centre from October 3 to 6.
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