Most of the big names have progressed to post section play at the Bowls New Zealand National Championships in beautiful conditions in New Plymouth.

The experienced women's pair of Blackjacks Jo Edwards and Val Smith, who dropped a match on the opening day and another on Friday, have made it through to the post section by the skin of their teeth. The best mates came back strongly in round 5 to secure a vital 20-12 against Denise Taylor and took a win in round 6 against Kathy Andrews to make the play offs.

Blackjacks representative Angela Boyd is on her way to a third consecutive pairs title, as she and skip Taylor Bruce won through to post section after comfortable wins (21-9 v Margaret Simpson, 23-7 v Suzann Burnand) on Friday.

Katelyn Inch and Debbie White have safely made it through to the knock-out stage as has 2014 women's pair champions Ann Muir and Carolyn Crawford (Kensington), who are yet to lose a game.


The biggest casualty in the women's pairs were last year's runners-up Leigh Griffen and daughter Kirsten Edwards, who failed to qualify as did Sarah Scott from Dunedin.

The men's pairs got underway Friday with each combination playing three matches. The defending champions Ali Forsyth and father Neville won all three as did Richard Girvan and Blake Signal while former New Zealand player Brian Baldwin, who is now based in Australia, has also progressed.

Highly rated players Rob Ashton (with Peter Sain), Gary Lawson (with Nev Rodda) and Peter Bellis (Lance Tasker) all dropped a game Friday, meaning they will need to win two of three on Saturday to advance, while Philip Skoglund (with Raymond Skoglund) lost two of his three matches which leaves him needing to win all three matches on Saturday to make it through to post section play.