The business end of the men's and women's fours got underway today at the Heartland Bank National Open Championship.

While it was a struggle early on, Jo Edwards' team picked up their act in the second half of the game to finish strong against the local Elmwood team skipped by Bev Morel.

Alison Rennie 's four managed to dispatch two of the favoured teams of the tournament on their way through to the semifinals. In their first round, against Sandra Keith's local team, Rennie shot out to an early lead which they managed to hold on. Rennie then played Tanya Wheeler's 2015 runner-up in the quarter-finals where the Auckland Composite team came away with another convincing performance.

Mandy Boyd's four are also looking promising, enjoying two good wins today, the first by a single point and the second quite convincingly. The pairs champions and runner ups have combined brilliantly to look like serious title contenders.


Twenty-year-old Nicole Toomey had a very tight game against Dunedin's Carolyn Crawford to reach the semifinals. After 18 ends the scores were 13-13 forcing a tie break which the youngster won.

On the men's side of the draw the two young teams (Bagrie-Howley & Downs) have fallen to the same opponent.

Johnsonville's Brendon Gibson has been bowling superbly to reach the quarter-finals and is just one of the bolters who have made it through to the final eight. Papanui's four, the team which dispatched Gary Lawson, are also still bowling well and are continuing to make the most of their opportunity as they head into the quarter-finals.

Defending champions, Peter Belliss, Richard Girvan, Lance Tasker, Danny O'Connor, are still alive and are eager to retain their title. Lance Pascoe had two very tight games; his first against the skillful and experience Rob Ashton and his second against a resilient Ian Brown who came from behind to really scare Pascoe. However, Lance held his nerve to seal it with his last bowl - eventually winning 13-15.