From the Dominion Post:
Sibling rivalry is nowhere to be seen when it comes to Wellington’s mixed pairs bowls champions Tim and Nicole Toomey. The young brother-sister combination ploughed through a high quality field over Labour Weekend to lift a centre title steeped in family ties. Tim, 21, and Nicole, 18, beat local identities Rob Ashton and Lui Hare on their home turf in a dramatic extra end to win the final 17-16 at the Johnsonville Bowling Club on Monday. It wasn’t the first time the Toomey kids have had a tilt at the title, though until last year they’d teamed up with parents, Victoria club life member Peter and his bowling wife Mary-Ann.
“We’d only played together once before, in the same event last year and we lost to Ashton and Hare,” Tim explained. “I played it a couple of years with mum and Nicole’s played it with dad. She’s [Nicole] all right, she puts up with my crap. I generally try to tell her what to do but she doesn’t always listen.”
Jokes aside, the Toomeys’ relaxed combination saw them beat highly rated Ben and Helen King in their semifinal before accounting for the home club favourites.
“People always say your first centre title is pretty special and the best one, but I don’t know. I reckon it was better winning with my little sister,” Tim, an electrician by trade, said.
The Toomeys are no rookies despite their youth, having both started playing competitively in their early teens. Nicole, who was a national under-18 representative last year and is working in the area of early childhood care, reckons their combination is an easy one.
“He knows what he’s doing, so I have to listen to him most of the time. There’s a little rivalry when we play each other, but when we’re together we get on fine.”
And though she loves teaming up with her parents, Nicole says she tends to play a more aggressive style with her brother by her side.
“I think we attack the head a little more when we’re down on the scoreboard.”
That paid off against Ashton during a tense final that came down to the last bowl after three-and-a-half hours of play.
“The extra end got killed three times by them, so it took quite a while,” Tim said. “For the first three he [Ashton] killed I’d nailed it every time, but in the end Nic ended up putting the jack in the ditch with her last bowl and we held shot. Then Lui was too heavy trying to draw it and ended up in the ditch.”
Nicole will be hoping her form holds next week when she plays at the New Zealand Open in Auckland.