Mangere Scoop Men’s Titles at the Nationals

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A Mangere double at the Summerset Nationals Singles and Pairs at Carlton Cornwall Bowls in Auckland.

Taylor Horn, 21, has won the men’s singles title, a few hours after his club-mates Chris Lowe and Jordan King claimed the men’s pairs crown.

Horn has beaten Tony Fabling (Hillcrest) 21-15 in the final to become the youngest men’s singles champion in recent memory.

He never trailed Fabling in the decider and showed great composure when his more experienced rival fought back to level the match at 7-7 and 10-10.

The youngster eventually with two near-perfect draws on the 22nd end. 

“It’s just unreal really,” Horn said.

“I still can’t believe it to be honest.

“It’s one of those things when you first start playing you sort of dream about, but you never really think you’ll get there and now you’re here and you don’t know what to say…it’s amazing.”

It is a remarkable double for the south Auckland club.

“For a little club like Mangere, with a few members, to come and win two national titles on the same day is pretty unreal,” Horn said.

“There might be a few lemonades to celebrate.”

Taylor Horn only joined the Mangere Bowling Club a couple of years ago after starting his fledgling career at the Mercury Bay Bowling Club in Whitianga.

He was enticed to Auckland by Lowe and King and now commutes from Te Awamutu, where he now lives, to play each weekend.

Now Horn is a national men’s singles champion, beating the other rising stars in his generation, like Seamus Curtin and Caleb Hope, to the honour.

“I’ll definitely be rubbing it in to those boys to make sure they know about it.”

He also hopes he’s made a strong case to the new Blackjack selectors.

“It’s going to be a big talking point, but I probably need a few more performances under my belt.

“At the end of the day it’s all up to the selectors [but] I think I’m mentally ready and I think my game has found that bit of consistency that I’ve been lacking lately.”

Taylor Horn will represent New Zealand at the World Champion of Champion Singles in Adelaide later this year and is hoping to emulate Shannon McIlroy, who won the tournament last year.

Whether Horn plays for the Blackjacks beforehand will be know later this month when the high performance and talent ID squads are named.