Dubbo's little master of the game

IN THE space of four years Jono Davis has gone from having a roll with his father to cementing his place in the New South Wales Junior under-18s team - and he will not be turning 12 until February next year.

Is he the youngest ever in Bowls NSW history to get in that side?

The answer is "yes."

Adding to the quality of junior bowls in the district, Keeley McGuire from Dubbo City and Jasmine Kew (Gilgandra) are also in the NSW squad.

As the final days of his primary schooling at St Mary's count down, Jono next year will be packing his bags and heading up to year 7 at St John's College.

And while there will be more study requirements, it appears as though there will also be many hours spent on the bowling greens.

Jono’s parents Steve and Louise are delighted with the latest success and according to Steve, the turn in fortunes for the young fellow was to win the Narooma Classic Singles during the September school holidays.

In the final Jono beat Anthony McKenna 21-18 after being down 13-5 after the first 10 ends.

“That was a pretty hot competition when he played 12 games in three days and was unbeaten - but more importantly four of the players he beat were current NSW players and three later went to the Australian Championships and made the national squad,” Steve  Davis said.

“He’s a very mature boy for his age, he thinks ahead and that’s been one of the keys to his successes.”

As you would expect Jono started with Friday junior coaching sessions at Dubbo City and playing with his father who didn’t take up bowls until he was 54. Jono was only seven-years-old at the time and those bowls were mighty heavy.

However, Loris Lawson and a couple of others were impressed by the way Jono understood the game and went through his drills, so his latest achievements haven’t been a surprise to anyone who has played with or against him.

Two years ago Steve and his son moved on from Dubbo City to Railway and he’s again received a lot of encouragement and support from the players over there.

“Playing at the top level of the game he has gone on from there,” Steve said.

“This season Jono played lead for Paul McKenzie in the Railway No.1 Pennant side and went down to Josh Andriske in the Open Far West District Singles final.

“In the junior ranks he played for New South Wales Country against City but more important was runner-up to Ben Glasson in the State Junior Singles Championships.

“These Junior tournaments are top class and for him to be right up there in under-18 competition at his age augers well for what he may be able to achieve in the next couple of years.” And there were also four games played for the NSW Institute of Sport team in the State Champions League. Each one provided good experience against the best bowlers in the top Sydney clubs.

But it’s not only lawn bowls that is a favourite past time for Jono - he loves his rugby league and is very good at it as well. He played five-eighth in a very good St Mary’s school side and for St John’s in under-11s junior league and stepped up in the under-12’s grand final win.

His NRL club is the Brisbane Broncos.

The 2013 year is certain to be a good one for Jono. His performances will be watched with interest.

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