Bayntuns shock to beat the best
WITH Kurt Brown and Margaret O’Rourke storming into their respective semi-finals, the stage appeared to be set for a scripted finish to the inaugural Tantitha Bowls Club Open Singles Invitational.
It would be Brown, the 19-year-old sensation who organised the tournament, up against O’Rourke, a former Queensland representative from Moore Park Beach Bowls Club.
Not many at Tantitha Bowls Club counted on 54-year-old Keith Bayntun causing an upset.
None of the pre-tournament buzz surrounded Bayntun.
Instead it was Brown, O’Rourke or fellow Tantitha star Darren McCracken who were picked to emerge victorious in the shoot-out between Bundaberg’s best bowlers.
But Bayntun, a technical officer from Bundaberg Regional Council, had more than a few tricks up his sleeve.
After blitzing through Saturday’s preliminary rounds undefeated and defeating Burnett Bowls Club’s Darren Dobson in the quarter-final, Bayntun set up a semi-final date with O’Rourke.
The pair arm-wrestled through the grand final qualifier before Bayntun secured a 25-23 victory.
That set up a grand final against Brown that would be Bayntun’s toughest challenge of the weekend.
Brown, a Queensland Under-23 team member, had cruised through to the final, defeating Bargara veteran John See 25-8 in the semis.
The only thing standing between him and Bundaberg supremacy was Bayntun.
And the underdog knew what he was up against.
“He’s such a good player and he was playing great all weekend; they couldn’t really get near him,” Brown said.
“But I was confident if things went my way I could get a win.”
Neither of the two can explain what happened on Sunday afternoon, but at the end of the day it was Bayntun’s name that was etched on the inaugural shield.
“I just didn’t know what I was doing out there. It was like I forgot how to play bowls,” Brown said yesterday.
“That’s not taking anything away from Keith. He bowled a very good game.”