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Home run ... Mataura shearer Tyson Crown competes in the Northern Southland Community Shears intermediate class semifinals last Friday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Even though he is relatively inexperienced with a handpiece, Mataura shearer Tyson Crown is starting to score a few wins.

Competing in the intermediate grade, Mr Crown won at the Northern Southland Community Shears last week and at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Christchurch in November last year.

He was not expecting to win.

“I was pretty rapt .. there was a good field of competitors,” he said.

He did not shear his eight sheep in the fastest time, finishing second behind Stacey Whitu of Gore, but low penalty points put him ahead.

The long wool sheep in the competition were big and strong.

“I think everyone got a stroppy one.”

The best way to deal with a sheep that put up a struggle was to “breathe and keep calm and get the sheep back into position”.

The 24-year-old had not been shearing for long.

“I’ve only been shearing for two years, so I’m still learning.”

He was good friends with Mataura shearer Brett Roberts, who is also competing well at the moment.

“We’ve been mates since forever – Brett’s been showing me a lot.”

He had been working on his technique to keep his work clean..

“Keeping the bottom tooth [of the comb] on the skin and not second-cutting the wool.”

All his friends were shearers which was one of the reasons he started shearing.

He worked in Cody Waihape’s Platinum Shearing gang.