DAMIEN Rideout was beaten by a “freak.”
The Biloela lawn bowler finished runner-up at the recent Queensland Champion of Club Champions men’s singles tournament to Broadbeach star Sean Baker.
“He’s a member of the Australian under-25 team so he’s no slouch,” Rideout said of his grand final opponent.
Both had been unbeaten in their three matches en route to the final.
“I think he’s a freak – the best bowler I’ve ever played against,” Rideout said of Baker, who had a 25-9 win.
Rideout said he was not disheartened to lose to a player the calibre of Baker, who won the Queensland singles, pairs, triples and fours titles in the same year a few years ago.
He said he hadn’t been nervous before the final, which was played the day after the tournament matches.
“I just took it as another game,” the carpenter said.
Rideout, 32, started by winning the Biloela Bowls Club singles title, and then won the Port Curtis district and Bundaberg zone titles to make it to the final eight at Bribe Island.
He said he faced a tough draw on the way to the final, with his opponents including an Australian pairs champion and a state development squad member. Rideout admitted his first match, a nail-biting 25-23 win, could have gone either way.
Rideout, who took up bowls 15 years ago as a teenager in year 12, followed his parents into the sport but said he was largely self-taught.
He was still happy to call himself the second-best bowler in the state, the second time he has been runner-up with the previous time in 2006.
“I have to start again next year – it might be third time lucky,” Rideout said.
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