Dora Warren has been the toast of the Hawke's Bay contingent at the national indoor bowls championships in Rotorua for the past two days.
Playing in her second nationals Pirimai club player Warren, 75, won her first national title with a 10-4 victory against Val Hagan of Tauranga's Papamoa Sports Club in Sunday's masters singles final. With her win Warren became the first woman to capture the title.
"I was pretty chuffed to do this at my second nationals," Warren said during lunch at today's fourth day of play at the eight-day 70th edition of the Summerset-sponsored tournament.
Warren has been playing indoor bowls for 14 years and is in her sixth year as a rep player for the Bay. For the past three years she has been president of the Hawke's Bay Indoor Bowls Association.
One of 72 qualifiers in an original field of 185, Warren, lost just one of her four section games and that was on an extra end before going on to win her five post-section games. In her semifinal Warren beat North Taranaki's Bronnie Read 9-7.
Warren eliminated Hillsborough's Kevin Barriball with a 12-6 victory in her quarterfinal and pipped Tauranga's Lynne Hamilton 10-9 in her last 16 match. In the last 32 Warren beat Bay of Plenty's Gail Powell 10-5.
"Concentration on the particular game I was playing at the time ... getting into the zone," replied Warren when quizzed on the keys to her success.
Unlike many of the Bay's indoor bowlers Warren didn't play any other sports before taking up the code. She doesn't have a preference for any form of indoor bowls and is playing in all four disciplines at the nationals.
Today Warren and fellow Bay player Phil Brown were beaten in the last 16 of the masters pairs by another Hawke's Bay combination of Bruce Dalton and Ron Searancke. Dalton and Searancke progressed to the semifinals where they were taking on Ashburton's Mark Sheard and Helen Rennie this afternoon.
In their quarterfinal Dalton and Searancke beat Northland's Marcel Ruedi and Eleanor Holt 16-2. Of the 125 masters pairs who started section play 47 qualified for post section play.
Hagan and clubmate Barry Chapman were taking on North Taranaki's Read and Colleen Riddock in the other semifinal.
In the open pairs semifinals Gary Low and Graham Low from Southland's Grasmere club were playing Teri Anderson and Matthew Farquhar of Waikato's St Andrews club while Grant l'Ami and Mike Phipps of Tauranga's South City club were taking on Steve Fisher and Paul Voorend of Auckland's Portage club.
Tomorrow Warren will start triples section play in the Rotorua Energy Events Centre with fellow Bay players Mark Appleby and Nigel Parker. At last year's Ashburton-hosted nationals Appleby was in a Taradale Primary School Club trio with Robert Abraham Kirstyn Harrison which reached the triples final.
On Friday Warren will start fours section play with a Hawke's Bay team which will also include the father-and-son combo of Phil and Michael Brown and Glenis Cohen. Two Hawke's Bay pairs, Michael Brown and Cohen and David Vesty and Appleby, qualified for post-section play in the open pairs but neither team reached the quarterfinals.
Sunday's open singles final saw Manawatu's Tim Veale, a 32-year-old joiner from the Ashhurst club beat Paul Smith from the Papamoa Sports club 9-8. This was Veale's second national championship title as he was in the winning pairs team in 2008.
In his victory speech Veale dedicated his title to his late grandfather who had always felt Veale could go far in the sport if he put his mind to it.