Bowls: North East Valley men miss out in nationals

The majority of the big-name bowlers in the men's and women's fours at the Hyundai National Open Championships made it through to post-section play on greens around Taranaki yesterday, with the exception of Terry Scott's North East Valley men.

A surprise result, Scott's side was runner-up in 2008 and 2011, and was able to draw on the skills of this year's singles winner, Shaun Scott. It wasn't enough to give the team the edge though, and they lost every game to be left out of contention.

They went down 24-15 to Jim Cook (Cabramatta), 18-7 to Lou Newman (Victoria) and 26-17 to Peter Thomson (Waikanae). Only Newman notched the required four wins to qualify and joins top men's bowling fours skipped by the likes of Andrew Kelly (Composite), Richard Girvan, Ali Forsyth, Peter Belliss Rowan Brassey and Petar Sain.

Kelly completed section play with an unbeaten record and faces Rex Holmes (Paraparaumu Beach) first up in post-section play today.

In the women's fours, singles semifinalists Anna Davis (Northern), Wendy Mackie (Massey Avenue) and Karen Hema (Carlton Cornwall) were the most notable names to drop out of contention.

Slam, Sue Burnard's composite team of elite bowlers that includes Mandy and Angela Boyd and former Black Jack Leanne Curry, made the grade and moved closer to another title chance. The women were the winners in 2011 and runners-up last year.

The defending champions, skipped by Ruth Lynch (Birkenhead) this year, dropped just one match to also move into post-section today. Her team this year includes Trish Couts, Gayle Melrose and Lisa Helmling.

Other top shelf teams that qualified include Sandra Keith (Dunsandel), Dale Rayner (Johnsonville), Reen Stratford (New Lynn) and Anne Bateman (Hikurangi).

The women's sides will reach the semi-finals by the end of play today.

- APNZ

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