A couple of comparatively low profile but competent Auckland club bowlers, Blockhouse Bay's Graham Growcott and Onehunga's Kevin Dixon, provided the main giant-killing exploits in post-section play in the New Zealand Open at Henderson yesterday.

By upsetting some of the more favoured bowlers both put themselves within a game of gaining a national title, with the pair scheduled now to meet in the men's singles semifinal tomorrow, assuring one of them of a place in the final.

Growcott, after being outdrawn earlier, rallied from a 6-13 deficit to topple national representative Dan Delany 21-19 in the quarter-finals.

Dixon collected his second consecutive major scalp with a 21-12 win over the promising Kaitaia youngster and last year's singles runner-up, Monte Pawa.


In the opening round on Sunday Dixon had beaten last year's other finalist, the defending champion, Pakuranga's Neil Fisher.

In tomorrow's other semifinal Wellington's experienced Rob Ashton, who only just survived an opening round cliff-hanger with former national champion Petar Sain, will meet Waikato's Phil Bennett.

A leading light of the professional indoor circuit, Bennett was another to win a tight contest, from North Harbour's Bart Robinson.

Delany's ill fortune continued in the pairs where he was defending the title he won last year.

But he and new partner, Chris Le Lievre, lost in the second round 9-18 to Orewa's David Eades and Scott Curran.