Bowls: Leading clubs descend on Auckland for Interclub finals

Val Smith and Selina Goddard of New Zealand competes during the Commonwealth Games. Photo / Getty Images
Val Smith and Selina Goddard of New Zealand competes during the Commonwealth Games. Photo / Getty Images

Some 90 teams from around the country will meet in Auckland this weekend for the New Zealand Interclub finals.

Clubs contesting have already won their provincial play-off, then their region playoff to win their way through to the New Zealand final with a total of 630 players striving to win the blue ribbon event.

The New Zealand Interclub Championship has both men and women playing in teams of seven in two divisions. The Premier division plays on Saturday and Sunday while the second division does battle on Sunday and Monday with all finals been played at the picturesque Carlton-Cornwall club located in Cornwall Park.

There are no fewer than 23 present or former New Zealand representatives in the field.

The current Women's Champions from United in Nelson will be there to defend their title with a very strong side spearheaded by New Zealand squad members Kirsten Griffin and Amy Mcllroy.

Their big challenge will come from the powerhouse Burnside team with four of the current New Zealand Women's squad in Angela Boyd, Mandy Boyd, Katelin Inch and Tayla Bruce as well as NZ Development player Cait Bassett.

Other leading clubs in the Women's competition will see NaeNae of Wellington and Northern of Palmerston North as likely contenders.

Stoke of Nelson are back to defend their Men's title with New Zealand titleholders Neville Forsyth, Peter Hodson and former NZ Development player Jimmy Pugh giving the team a very strong look again.

The quality of the field will certainly see a number of clubs putting the pressure on Stoke led by the Aramoho of Wanganui with the great Peter Belliss and former New Zealand players Sean Johnson and Keith Slight. Others that will be strong contenders are Eastbourne of Wellington with Gary Lawson and two other former New Zealand players Justin Goodwin and Philip Skoglund Jnr in their side, also Belfast of Canterbury and Paritutu of Taranaki should be strong competition.

- NZ Herald

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