It was almost like a return to the old days as another son of a Golden Shears Open champion today completed a Te Kuiti cleansweep of three top shearing events in the North Island over the weekend.
Mark Grainger, son of 1985 Golden Shears winner Paul Grainger, scored his second win in the Tauranga A and P Show Open final at Gate Pa Racecourse – the first Shearing Sports New Zealand in the North Island since the end of November.
Runner-up in the 15-lambs, four-man final was Jack Fagan who had won two Speedshear events in the previous two nights, and who is son of Sir David Fagan, whose first Golden Shears Open final win in 1986 was one of seven of the finals won in a row by King County shearers from 1982 to 1988.
Grainger, who won the Tauranga final in 2015 and who was in only his second competition shear of the season, commanded the pace of today's final which he cut-out in 14min 44sec, with a 15 seconds gap and ultimate 1.317pts winning margin from Fagan whose fastest lamb of the weekend was the 16.49sec humdinger with which he won the previous night's blast at Te Puna.
Third was Stratford shearer Michael Fabish, while Bay of Plenty-based Englishman Andrew Deverall showed he's still got what it takes when he finished fourth – 22 years after winning the title in 1997.
Masterton shearer Paerata Abraham, who had been runner-up to Fagan in each of the weekend's speedshears, won the Open Plate, while brother-in-law David Gordon, also of Masterton, won the Senior final, in which Rakaia shearer Alex Smith was runner-up and Pauline Bolay, a regular in New Zealand but from Manitoba in Canada, was third.
Wellsford farmer Alan Boler, who had three wins on the Northland circuit last summer, won the Intermediate final by almost 1.9pts from Pongaroa shearer Liam Pritchard, and Topia Barrowcliffe, of Piopio, added the Junior title to his first win in the grade scored last-time-out at Stratford seven weeks ago.
There 43 entries across the grades, but a small number were allowed to shearing two gtades to help bolster the numbers
Among the 16 Junior entries was Amber Petersen, of Prince Edward Island, Canada, and who reached the semi-finals in her first competition in an eight-week stint in New Zealand.
The events kicked-off a busy start to to the post-Christmas phase of the 2018-2019 shearing sports season which gets even busier this week with six competitions throughout the country over three days.
Shearers and woolhandlers head to the deep south for the Northern Southland Community Shears in two woolsheds near Lumsden on Friday and the Southland Shears' national crossbred lambs championships at the Winton A and P Show on Saturday, there will be three other competitions on Saturday at the Kaikohe, Wairoa and Golden Bay shows, and on Sunday the Horowhenua Shears will be held in Levin.
Results from the Tauranga A and P Show shearing championships at Gate Pa Racecourse, Tauranga, on Sunday:
Open final (15 lambs): Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 14min 44sec, 53.2pts, 1; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 15min 1sec, 54.517sec, 2; Michael Fabish (Stratford) 15min 47sec, 57.35pts, 3; Andrew Deverall (Tauranga) 15min 43sec, 63.75pts, 4.
Open Plate (8 lambs): Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 7min 37se, 30.85pts, 1; Dylan McGruddy (Masterton) 7min 34sec, 31,7pts, 2; Turi Edmonds (Raetihi) 8min 39sec, 34.7pts, 3; Richie Maguire (Piopio) 8min 11sec, 35.55pts, 4.
Senior final (10 lambs): David Gordon (Masterton) 13min 26sec, 49.4pts, 1; Alex Smith (Rakaia) 13min 26sec, 51.8pts, 2; Pauline Bolay (Canada) 13min 16sec, 53pts, 3; Dan Berger (Ahuroa) 14min 7sec, 55.05pts, 4.
Intermediate final (6 lambs): Alan Boler (Wellsford) 9min 40sec, 41.167pts, 1; Liam Pritchard (Pongaroa) 9min 40sec, 43pts, 2; Chris Dickson (Masterton) 9min 10sec, 43.833pts, 3; Atawhai Hadfield (Ruakituri) 10min 57sec, 52.683pts, 4.
Junior final (3 lambs): Topia Barrowcliffe (Pio Pio) 5min 42sec, 26.767pts, 1; Matthew Smith (Otorohanga) 7min 34sec, 32.7pts, 2; Clay Harris (Piopio) 7min 23sec, 42.817pts, 3; Heath Barnsdall (Aria) 8min 51sec, 43.55pts, 4.