Bowls: Veterans Edwards and Bellis win fours titles

By Dale Budge

Tayla Bruce, Kirsten Edwards, Val Smith and Jo Edwards celebrate their win. Photo / Supplied
Tayla Bruce, Kirsten Edwards, Val Smith and Jo Edwards celebrate their win. Photo / Supplied

Champion Blackjacks lawn bowler Jo Edwards claimed a fourth national title at the Bowls New Zealand National Championships in New Plymouth on Saturday.

The multiple world champion led her fours team of Val Smith, Kirsten Edwards and Tayla Bruce to victory in the women's fours gold medal match 22-11 over Lisa White's Wellington team.

The star-studded Edwards team always looked the combination to beat right throughout these National Championships. It means Edwards makes up for her surprise early exit in both the women's singles and women's pairs earlier in the week.

While always in control of the final Edwards needed a clutch performance in Friday's semifinal to lift her team into the gold medal match when it looked like they would miss out.

Edwards and husband - former Blackjacks coach Dave Edwards - move to Brisbane later this month where they will take up roles with a local club.

She will remain available for Blackjacks selection however.

The great Peter Belliss won his ninth national open title with his team of Lance Tasker, Blake Signal and Richard Girvan defeating Dean Elgar of Taranaki 23-9 in the men's fours final.

Elgar's West End crew of Gerry O'Sullivan, Neil Candy and John Garrud had no answer to the veteran's composite side.

The Belliss victory gave Tasker his fifth national title and his gold star having won his first with Belliss back in 1995.

Father and son combination of Ali and Neville Forsyth will take on veteran Kiwi bowler Gary Lawson and Nev Rodda in the men's pairs final on Sunday. The Forsyth combo eased past Colin Gawith and Karl Garrett 21-9 in the first semi while Lawson and Rodda defeated the Wanganui combination of Ray Parl and Allan Dickson 17-14 in the other one.

Semifinalists were found in the men's singles Blackjacks rep Blake Signal, Eric Pattillo of Tauranga South, West End's Dean Elgar and Eastbourne player Mike Solomon will fight out the title on Sunday.

The gold medal matches in singles and pairs will take place Sunday - the final day of the National Champs.

- NZ Herald

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