Sixteen teams entered the Men's Centre Open Fours and the qualifying games were very close, with only five teams eventually making it to post-section play.

In round one, Sam Nelson (Whangarei) met Errol Edlin (Kamo) in a very close encounter with a handy five scored on the 6th end putting the Kamo team in the lead for the first time. Nelson then claimed four on the 8th to get back into contention.

Both teams exchanged shots and Edlin went into the last end with a one shot lead and holding shot when the bell rang for time. Nelson missed with his first drive but cleaned out the shot with his second and on the measure got two shots to win the match.

Dusty Reader (Whangarei) took on John Dunn (Onerahi) in the second round and once again a great battle ensued. A three on the 6th end and a four on the 11th end were the major factors in the Whangarei team winning this battle by 12-10.


Alan Stebben (Mangawhai) and Sam Nelson (Whangarei) met in the semifinal and once again the lead in the match changed every couple of ends. Some great driving by both skips ensured that the score was kept low in this match and the final result was a 10-8 victory to Mangawhai.

The final was between Reader and Stebben. Unfortunately for Mangawhai boys they could not keep up the high standard of the semifinal and with Reader drawing well for his team and Stebben trying to keep his team in the play, it was not to be and it was success to Dusty Reader, Steve Smith, Clive Claridge & Gary Fraser over Alan Stebben, Bruno Barnetta, Frank Sweney, & Dundee Henwood 15-6.

This was a third Centre title for Dusty Reader for the season, who will now represent the Centre in the Regional finals in the pairs with Steve Smith, Singles, and the Fours.

Twenty-two players contested the Women's Open Singles at the same time as the men's fours and seven players were successful in qualifying for post-section play.

In round one Sue Wightman (Mangawhai) met Mona Guttenbeil (Mangawhai) and this match was a comfortable win for Wightman. Diane Strawbridge (Kensington) met Jenny Hardie (One Tree Point) and this was another match of a senior player meeting a junior and Strawbridge won by a comfortable margin also.

The third match was between Ann Muir (Kensington) and Chris Budge (Kensington). Muir started comfortably, getting out to a 14-7 lead on the 12th end in the race to 21 shots.

Budge then scored seven shots on the next three ends to level the score. From there it was a one point score on each end for both players and when the bell rang the result was all square.

This required another end to find a winner and Muir secured the winning shot to go into the semifinals.

The semis saw Wightman face Margaret Gurney (Kensington) who had the bye in the previous round. Gurney struggled to find the weight and line on a changing green and Wightman ran out a comfortable winner. Strawbridge took on Ann Muir in the other semi.

This match was another close affair with some outstanding draw bowls. Strawbridge jumped out to a nine point lead early on in the match but by the 18th end the match was all square. They traded ones on the next four ends for Muir to win 21-19.

The final started with Muir jumping out to a 7-2 lead before Wightman scored nine shots in four ends to take the lead. Muir then scored seven shots on the next five ends to grab the lead ,before Wightman came to light with 10 shots in the last five ends to win 21-15. This was a 14th Centre title for Wightman.

The matches were watched by a good crowd of supporters from all clubs represented and they were all very supportive of great bowls by every team.

Special thanks to those players who volunteered to mark, the Umpires and Control personnel who were on duty for the weekend.

The Men's Centre Triples that were postponed earlier in the season will be finalised at the Waipu Greens today. The semifinal between Maungaturoto and Onerahi will be played at noon and will be followed by the final between the winner and the Wightman team from Mangawhai.

In the area? Come and watch some exciting bowls.

Monday (Anniversary day) will see the 1-5 Year Sixes played at the Kamo Greens. Teams are entered from Whangarei, Kensington x 2, Mangawhai Women, Mangawhai Men, Kamo One Tree Point. Play starts at 8.45am. Matches will be played in the singles, pairs and triples. The winning club will represent the Centre in the Regional final to be played later in the season.

Open tournaments for next week are: 27/28 Club Championships; Sun 28th Arapohue 1-10 AC Triples, Mon 29th Ruawai MX Fours 2M,2W; Wed 31st Maungatapere AC Fours; Thu 1st Waipu Women's Pairs; Fri 2nd: Maungatapere Triples; Feb 3 and 4 Whangarei Men's 2x4x2 pairs; Arapohue Men's Triples.

Reminder Junior bowlers: Junior 1-5 year Open Singles (men and women) entries close Thursday February 8.