With Garry Houlahan
* Junior pairs battle poor weather with good results
Centre junior pairs was played last weekend in conditions that would cause problems for any bowler, no matter how experienced. To their credit the juniors battled away well with some very good bowls being played.
As is often the case in Centre events, the women's final was an all-Kensington affair and, after a close battle, the winners were Lauren Mills and Margaret Gurney, who defeated Jude Ganley and Linda Brocklebank 22-16. The game was close throughout, but the break for the winners came on the 19th end, when they picked up four shots to give them a cushion over the final ends.
In contrast, the men's final was one-way traffic with Kamo's John Ridling and Noel Watson running out comfortable 22-10 winners over the Maungaturoto pair of Terry McMahon and Kevin Flower. The Kamo pair were clearly superior and the game was conceded with the final two ends unplayed.
* Wilson Pairs
While the juniors were doing their thing, Dargaville Bowling Club staged its annual Wilson Pairs. A disappointing field of 22 teams lined up.
The tournament is ideally placed in the calendar, just one week before the Centre Pairs, and I fail to understand why more teams do not take the opportunity to have a run before the Centre event. Those who did enter enjoyed a good tournament although the weather was not conducive to tight heads.
After section play on Saturday, the field split into the top eight pairs playing for the main event, the second eight pairs in the plate and the rest contesting a consolation event.
The consolation was played at Te Kopuru because Dargaville's back green has not recovered from major remedial work which was badly affected by adverse weather over the winter months.
Winners of the main event were the local combination of Alan Rakich and Max Jones, who beat Jim Cook (back from Australia on a flying visit) and Robin Steele. Eric Smitten and Jim Vallance (Dargaville), and Mike Haslam and George Lydiard (Kensington) were equal third. The plate went to Laurie Reader and Fred Kirk (Whangarei), who beat Danny Clements and Bill Johnston (Arapohue). John Jamieson and Rex Hamlin (Whangarei) and Merv Price and Steve Curac (Dargaville) were equal third. The consolation event was won by Ruawai's Max Thurston and Ian McPherson (who improved from their four losses from four games on Saturday). They beat Kevin Nash and Lucky Te Tuhi (Composite).
A very enjoyable tournament and one of which bowlers should note for next season.
* Centre Pairs
Centre Pairs is on this weekend with 46 entries in the men's and 30 entries in the women's. Draws:
Women at Mangawhai: J. Carson, M. Timoti, A. N. Other, J. Wallace, N. Jujnovich, P. Reader, G. Norris-Palmer, P. Warth, S. Anderson, D. Fischer, J. Wilson, D. Stewart, N. Vaney, K. Wintle, B. Pouwhare, S. Holland.
Second green at Mangawhai: S. Wightman, K. Horscroft, E. Pierce, A. Bateman, A. Halls, D. Haslam, J. McLean, G. Reweti, E. Van Haaften, C. Downs, A. Muir, C. Crawford, M. Parker, R. Webb.
Men at Waipu: G. Blackman, R. McKinney, I. Bowick, R. Arbon, G. Houlahan, G. Wintle, K. Robinson, C. Wintle, D. Kerr, L. Lilly, K. Nash, D. Hood, G. Herbert, P. Yovich, D. McLean, E. Smitton.
Second green at Waipu: P. Nicholas, A. Booth, R. Sowerby, G. ONeill, S. Nelson, R. Yanko, G. Lawrence, R. Martin, G. Neeley, G. Mulligan, I. McMillan, D. Reader, M. Haslam, J. Dunn, M. Price, R. Kerr-Davis.
Men at Arapohue: S. Foy, P. Wightman, P. Graham, J. P. Van Haaften, S. Smith, T. Chapman, K. West, K. Westlake, G. Rope, I. McMurchy, N. Lett, I. Halls, M. de Lacey, V. Lowe.
* Kittyhawks champs
The Kittyhawks Bowling Club held the first of its fundraising tournaments at Mangawhai recently with outstanding success. Some $4000 was presented, on this occasion to the Guide Dog appeal representative, at the end of play.
This money will go into the training of a black labrador bitch called Lana, which was present at the prizegiving.
Also present was New Zealand representative swimmer Cameron Leslie and his partner, who came up from Auckland for the day.
Cameron won a number of medals, including a gold, at the Paralympics in Beijing and has been the recipient of funds from the Kittyhawks to assist with his training and competition.
A busload of seven teams of bowlers came up from Auckland for the day. They have been coming north for 15 years now to give their support (and their dollars) to Kittyhawk projects.
The club has now donated in excess of $80,000 to during its existence, and its tournaments are open to all bowlers.
For the record, the bowls winners were a Far North team skipped by Paul Huxtable, with Jack King's Hikurangi team in second spot and Steve Rodokal's team in third.
* Umpires play
The Umpires Association women's tournament was played at Kensington recently, unlike the men's tournament which had to be called off for lack of entries. Winners for the second year in a row were the Dargaville team of Pat Young, Joyce Osborne, Ann Radonich and Zeena Matthews with four wins and 23 ends. Runners up were a Bowls Whangarei team of Ina Slater, Lenore Jamieson, Laura Hill and Betty Monkhouse with three wins and 19 ends. Third went to a team skipped by Maree Bennett who had three wins and 18 ends. The hard-luck story was the team of Janice Dalton, Sylvia Batchelor, Dot Haslam and Jacqui Howarth, who also had three wins but insufficient ends to win a prize.
Well done to the ladies.
With Garry Houlahan