Papakura couple Bernie Duffy and Janine Miller were very excited to play pool together in the 8 ball mixed pairs at the 2013 NZ Masters Games.
The only problem was there was no mixed pairs class.
But after some delicate negotiation with organiser Jeff Bullus, the couple was able to play together in the men's class.
"He said I wouldn't be able to play in the female class because I'd be too strong for them," Irish-born Duffy said at yesterday's 8 ball men's pairs contest at the Wanganui RSA.
"So Jeff said Janine could play in the men's as long as we call him Brad Pitt. And she stopped being Janine and became just Jan for a while, until we finally settled on Jack."
"Jack" said the pair had only being going out since October and had never entered a pool tournament before.
"We just sort of went down the pub a few times and had a go, and then Bernie's parents were coming over from Ireland for a month and we decided to enter them in the bowls at the Masters," she explained.
"And we thought we may as well play something, too."
Duffy said his parents had never played bowls before their trip to Wanganui.
"Out of 12 ends dad won three and I think mum won two. When you consider they were up against people who have been playing for 15 or 20 years and the standard was quite high, they actually did quite well."
The Papakura pool pair were the first at the venue yesterday morning, only to be told the start had been delayed until 10am.
"That's fine by us, it means we can practise. We'll need it, because some of these guys are really good," Duffy said.
Duffy and Miller's first round robin match was a spirited affair against seasoned Petone players Kim Bulwer and Lance Smith in which Duffy sank six balls in quick succession after the break. Smith sank another four, leaving "Jack" with the No5 to sink but she just missed the pocket.
"I was trying to doubt my abilities. I didn't doubt myself enough, that's why it didn't go in," she reasoned.
The blokes from Petone went on to win and after another two tough matches were able to progress.