The Wanganui Women's Indoor Bowls representative team has won back the Willis Trophy for the first time since 2012 after a strong performance in the annual quadrangular tournament at Jubilee Stadium over the weekend.

The trophy has been contested every year since 1997, with North Taranaki and defending champions Upper Hutt Valley being the dominant teams, alongside Wanganui and Hawke's Bay.

It was only the fourth time Wanganui have held the title after outright wins in 2006 and 2012, along with sharing the prize with North Taranaki in 2008.

The visitors all brought some serious firepower as New Zealand champion Sheree Holmes was with the Upper Hutt squad, while former North Island champion Sue Fleming turned out for Hawke's Bay.


Beginning on Saturday morning, the first games were fours competition, followed by pairs and then skips and No3 singles.

Wanganui led with eight points after the first round, with Upper Hutt and North Taranaki locked on four points and Hawke's Bay yet to score.

Upper Hutt proved their value after the singles, moving rapidly to 17 points, with North Taranaki on 12 while Wanganui fell back with 11, three ahead of Hawke's Bay.

The pairs before lunch went better for Wanganui who moved back to second place with 20 points, now only 1.5 points behind Upper Hutt, with Hawke's Bay overtaking North Taranaki.

The placings stayed the same for the pairs after the lunch break, and then Wanganui made their move by winning all four of the skip and three singles games, taking a healthy lead with 32 points, ahead of Upper Hutt, North Taranaki and Hawke's Bay in that order.

From here, Wanganui would never surrender the lead again, although they did not have it all their own way.

The home side won two games with a draw in the two's and leads singles section, moving a further point or so ahead of Upper Hutt, as North Taranaki and Hawke's Bay would be trading third and fourth for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday afternoon's last round of pairs was crucial as Wanganui won three games with a draw, giving them a 10.5 point lead heading into yesterday.


Upper Hutt tried a comeback on Sunday morning with two wins in the fours, with Wanganui and Hawke's Bay getting one win each, while the gap closed slightly further in the skip and three singles after Wanganui won only one game.

However, with two wins in the two and lead singles and then a win and a draw during the last round of pairs, Wanganui's overnight lead proved too much for Upper Hutt to run down, with Hawke's Bay climbing up strongly to finish just a further 1.5 points back in third.

The Wanganui team was: S Hackett, M Klitscher, L Soresnen, C Adams, Y Crighton, R Osbourne, K Lawrie, J Raymond.

Final result: 1. Wanganui 60 points; 2. Upper Hutt Valley 54.5; 3. Hawke's Bay 53; 4. North Taranaki 48.5.