The Open shearing final at Warkworth A and P Show on Saturday was effectively a match between Te Kuiti visitor Jack Fagan and Dargaville's Neville Osborne.
Osborne had it all in the speed stakes, ripping through the 15 sheep in 11min 55sec for a time advantage worth more than four points, but Fagan made it all up in the quality points, to sneak home by 0.22pts.
It was his second win in two rounds of the new ANZ Northland Shearing Championship, a teams competition among selections from each of the show in the north, he and four-times Warkworth Open winner Osborne having been first and second a week earlier at Kaikohe.
Third in the final in Warkworth was 70-year-old Ralph Smith, qualifying ahead of two others and who had already shorn in the Veterans final won by fellow Northland competitions stalwart Neil Sidwell.
Stefan van Oorschot, of Te Akau, successfully defended the Senior title he won last year, and then headed for Rotorua where he would finish fifth in another Senior final, made-up mainly of most of the best Senior shearers in the North Island this season.
Courtney Flower, of Dargaville, won the Intermediate event, turning the tables on regular northern shows competitor Alan Boler, of Wellford, who a week earlier scored at Kaikohe scored at least his sixth win in the grade.
The Junior winner was Kevin Welch, of Snells Beach, who does little shearing each year other than one or two shows in the region and who is a brother of World two-stand ewes record holder Sam Welch. He also turned the tables, on Ruawai's Hazel Wood, who beat him in last year's event at Warkworth.
With Novice and Veterans events, Warkworth attracted 26 shearers across the grades, with the added extra of ANZ representative Stacey Beattie, who was pictured providing the pedal-power for Waitarimu shearer Lee Cheyne in one of the demonstrations during the day.
RESULTS from the Warkworth A and P Show shearing championships on Saturday, January 27, 2018:
(15 sheep): Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 13min 16sec, 47.93pts, 1; Neville Osborne (Dargaville) 11min 55sec, 48.15pts, 2; Ralph Smith (Dargaville) 18min 51sec, 65.61pts, 3.
Senior final (8 sheep): Stefan van Oorschot (Te Akau) 9min 49sec, 41.7sec, 1; Dan Berger (Ahuroa) 9min 51sec, 42.8pts, 2; Lee Cheyne (Waitarimu) 10min 30sec, 44.12pts, 3.
Intermediate final (4 sheep): Courtney Flower (Dargaville) 5min 52sec, 30.85pts, 1; Alan Boler (Wellsford) 5min 56sec, 32.8pts, 2.
Junior final (3 sheep): Kevin Welch (Snells Beach) 5min 55sec, 37.41pts, 1; Hazel Wood (Ruawai) b7min 55sec, 37.75pts, 2.
Novice final (2 sheep): Danielle Boyd (Dargaville (6min 50sec), 35pts, 1; Hannah Titford (Puhoi) 6min 5sec, 53.25pts, 2; William Titford (Puhoi) 6min 35sec, 56.75pts, 3.
Veterans final (3 sheep): Neil Sidwell (Kaukapakapa) 4min 37sec, 27.18pts, 1; Barry Jones (Pukekohe) 4min 50sec, 27.83pts, 2; Ralph Smith (Dargaville) 5min 11sec, 27.89pts, 3