Bowls: Northland teams come close to national titles

By Gwen Lawson

What a weekend it was for Northland Bowlers who have shown themselves to be up with the very best in the country at the Inter-centre Tournament held in Auckland.

It is congratulations to the Northland women's team who placed third equal in the competition. They qualified in first place in their section and then defeated Dunedin in the quarter-finals. In the semifinals they played the very strong Nelson combination which included New Zealand representatives Val Smith and Jo Edwards.

The result came down to the last end in the pairs competition. Northland needed two to draw and three shots to win. Timoti, the Northland skip, needed to drive to kill the end and have it replayed when they were two down on the head. Her attempt disturbed the head and, although the jack was dislodged, it did not quite reach the boundary. Northland held only one shot and the game went to the Nelson pair 18-17. The Northland team in qualifying lost only two games out of 15 over two days.

The event was won by the Canterbury combination led by Jan Khan and Sandra Keith who beat the Nelson combination 2-1 in the final.

In the men's division, Northland played Wellington in the quarter-finals and this game came down to the result of one game after the singles was won by Northland and the Pairs by Wellington. The Northland four held the winning of the game in their hands on the last end, but a last bowl, 'jack in the ditch' effort by the Wellington skip saw the game slip from Northland's grasp.

Northland qualified second in their section, with the pair combination leading the way and not losing a match until the quarter-finals.

The men's competition was won by Dunedin who came back on the last two ends of the pairs and triples matches to defeat Manawatu.

Twenty-four centres from throughout New Zealand took part in this inaugural event.

Both Northland women and men can be very proud of themselves and their success as they, along with Counties-Manukau women, were the only teams from the area from Waikato north to qualify in this event.

Women win

While the big event for open grade was going on in Auckland, the Northland reserve grade representatives were taking part in a regional event being held here in Northland.

It is congratulations to the Northland women's team who won the event on Saturday and then drove to Auckland Sunday morning to compete against Bay of Plenty, Thames Valley and North Harbour in the Northern Regional final.

This result was once again success for the Northland team who defeated Thames Valley and then defeated North Harbour in the final.

The Northland Men's team result was disappointing when they missed out on qualifying on day one, having to play second fiddle to the North Harbour and Auckland representative teams who went on to compete in the regional event.

First Year event

The First Year Centre Open Singles will be conducted at the Whangarei greens on March 2. Seven men and seven women have entered the event. This means a bye in each section so if any club has a first year bowler who would like to take part, please contact the Centre Match Committee immediately. Players entered are:

Men: David Johnson (Leigh), Bill Harris (Kensington), Jason Webb (Arapohue); Glenn Jones, Brian Wright (Mangawhai); Mark Brown (Waipu), John Tantrum (Maungaturoto).

Women: Verna Clyde (Waipu); Heather Smeath (Kamo); Janice Payne, Shirley Dollimore, Lynette O'Neill (Kensington); Wendy Wright, Diane Adamson (Mangawhai Women).

Reporting time is 8.30am. Clubs, please don't forget to send a marker with your player.

- Northern Advocate

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