Stoke's Shannon McIlroy won his first National Open Championship bowls singles title in Christchurch today.

McInroy got out to an early lead in the final against Paul Girdler (Tweed Heads) and never surrended it.

Blackjack Girdler did everything he could to keep in touch but it was McIlroy's day, winning 21-11.

The women's singles final was won 21-15 by Australian Kelsey Cottrell, who was always in control against Tayla Bruce (Burnside).


On every end Bruce held shot but Cottrell would play a bowl to steal the end or cut down the number of shots Bruce could win by.

Bruce has now been runner up twice in this event and will now be putting big pressure on the New Zealand selectors for selection at November's World Championship.

In the pairs finals, the Forsyths, Ali and father Neville, raced out to a good lead and never really let Andrew Howie and Greg Dale back into it, winning 20-11. Just when they looked like making progress, Ali killed the end.

With this win, following on from his APL success, Ali Forsyth again showed that a Blackjack recall must be near.

In the women's pairs final between Mandy and Anglea Boyd from Burnside and Leigh and Kirsten Griffen (Victoria) and the game was close from the start. Neither team could make a break until the 16th end when the Boyds, playing on their home green, scored a four. They then went on to defend the title they won last year on Auckland's North Shore 17-10.

Ironically these two teams now join forces to play in the fours tomorrow.

In the pairs semifinals earlier in the day the Forsyths led from the start to beat last year's champions Rob Ashton and Peter Sain 18-10.

In the other semifinal the youngsters Euan Wong and Seamus Curtin showed that they are potential Blackjacks. While going down to the Australian pairing of Andrew Howie and Greg Dale 20-19, they played exceptional bowls.

In the women's pairs semifinals, the Boyds scraped through with a 17-16 win over Jo Edwards and Val Smith while the Griffens had to go to an extra end to beat Sandra Keith and Serena Matthews 22-19.