Alyssa Morley to represent NSW in Australian junior tenpin championships

Kynan Groundwater from Iguana with this week's sportstar, tenpin bowler Alyssa Morley.
Kynan Groundwater from Iguana with this week's sportstar, tenpin bowler Alyssa Morley.

GAINING a place in the Australian junior tenpin bowling team for the junior world championships will be Alyssa Morley’s ambition next year.

The world titles will be held in either the US or Europe.

Alyssa has gained a berth in the NSW under 18 president’s shield team to play in the nationals to be held at Melbourne next April. From this the 14 strong Australian side will be selected.

Alyssa is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana. She was nominated by Taree’s Northern Country Challenge teams.

Alyssa qualified for the State side in a roundabout way, having to bowl for Victoria in the national trials as all the NSW spots were taken. However, swapping States didn’t faze her as she averaged a touch over 190 for the series, well ahead of the required figure of 150. She was the best performed of the Victorian bowlers.

She’s already in training for her tilt at the nationals, where she hopes to force her way into the Australian side. However, Alyssa assures she won’t be too downcast if she misses out. She’ll be in the junior ranks for another three years, so she’ll get another chance.

Swimming was once her sporting priority. However, she started playing tenpin at Taree with friends when she was about nine and she soon became hooked on the game.

“I began with bumpers until I turned 12. I loved it and I was asked if I wanted to play in a league,’’ Alyssa said.

She now plays in the Taree pairs league on Tuesday nights while also representing the centre in the Northern Country Challenge in the women’s A-grade side. This year she was asked to join the North Coast Academy. This requires a trip to either Port Macquarie or Kempsey once a week for training and competition under the guidance of former Australian coach Jame McGinty from Bonville. Alyssa also receives support from Taree centre bowlers Shaun O’Byrne, Brian Armstrong and Bob McKay. She partners Bob in the Tuesday pairs league.

Before the nationals Alyssa will compete in the Sydney Junior Cup in a month and the Orange Junior Cup next February to hone her game. 

Her highest match score is 249 and a further ambition to to crack the magical 300 mark with 12 strikes.

Alyssa currently holds 11 of the 12 junior lane records at Taree, with lane eight to go. She was on track to make the dozen this week but fell short of the 200 mark when finishing with 194.

Longer term Alyssa hopes to bowl professionally in the US.

“I think so,’’ she replied when asked if she was on track to achieve her aim.

“If I keep training every day and iron out a few little mistakes, then I’m a chance.’’