Scotland has again become the major threat to New Zealand's domination of international machine shearing with two big wins just days ahead of the 2019 world championships in France.
Competing at the Lochearnhead Shears in Scotland on Saturday, the new Scots championships pair of 2012 champion Gavin Mutch, and championships newcomer Calum Shaw dominated both the first test match of the Kiwis' 2019 UK tour and the Lochearnhead Shears open final.
They beat vaunted New Zealand pairing Rowland Smith and Cam Ferguson by almost six points, while Shaw and Mutch were first and second respectively in the open final.
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The Allflex New Zealand Shearing and Woolhandling Team, also including blades shearers Tony Dobbs and Allan Oldfield and woolhandlers Pagan Karauria and Sheree Alabaster, assembles in France today for the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships starting in Le Dorat, Central France, on Thursday.
It was Mutch who forced the pace in both 20-sheep events on Saturday, finishing more than a sheep ahead of the rest of the field.
The test match gave Scotland its third consecutive win over New Zealand at Lochearnhead, where New Zealand have won just once in the last 17 years.
Mutch also finished more than a sheep ahead of Smith in the final open championship, in which Ferguson was a semi-final elimination.
Allan Oldfield, of Geraldine, got one back for New Zealand by winning the blade shearing final, in which father and 2017 World championships third placegetter Phill Oldfield was runner-up.
Missing from the event was New Zealand team blade shearing partner Tony Dobbs, while world title favourites South Africa were also not in Scotland.
Claiming the Lochearnhead title for a third consecutive year, Allan Oldfield has been a prolific winner in the UK where has now won at least 15 finals over the last three years.
Results from the 26th Lochearnhead Shears Scottish Blackface shearing and woolhandling championships at Lochearnhead, Scotland, on Friday-Saturday, June 28-29, 2019:
CP Wool UK tour International (20 sheep): Scotland (Gavin Mutch 13min 44se, 53.1pts; Calum Shaw 15min 5sec, 55.5pts) 108.6pts beat New Zealand (Rowland Smith 14min 50sec, 55.55pts; Cam Ferguson 15min 3sec, 59pts) 114.55pts by 5.95pts.
Junior (4 sheep): Scotland (Billy Gray 7min 43sec, 33.15pts, 1; Murray Craig 8min 35sec, 38pts) 71.15pts beat England (Richard Lancaster 7min 27sec, 53.1pts; Craig Naylor 8min 56sec, 63.05pts) 116.15pts.
Open final (20 sheep): Calum Shaw (Scotland) 14min 10sec, 52.1pts, 1; Gavin Mutch (Scotland) 13min 24sec, 52.4pts, 2; Rowland Smith (New Zealand) 15min 12sec, 55.85pts, 3; Adam Berry (England) 15min 49sec, 56.85pts, 4.
Open Plate (10 sheep): Archie Paterson (Scotland) 8min 8sec, 35.2pts, 1; Andrew Baillie (Scotland) 8min 4sec, 37.4pts, 2; Lee Molkenburg (Falkland Islands) 8min 38sec, 37.5pts, 3; Stephen Morgan (Northern Ireland) 8min 51sec, 39.65sec, 4.
Senior final (10 sheep): David Gordon (New Zealand) 9min 2sec, 35pts, 1; Adam Wood (Scotland) 9min 51sec, 38.55pts, 2; Stephen Morgan (Northern Ireland) 9min 59sec, 39.55pts, 3; Emily Te Kapa (Scotland) 11min 29sec, 43.35pts, 4.
Intermediate final (4 sheep): Katie Reid (Scotland) 6min 54sec, 34.35pts, 1; Adam Wood (Scotland) 6min 1sec, 36.7pts, 2; Kevin Daniel (-) 6min 19sec, 36.7pts, 3; Kevin Sutherland (Scotland) 6min 51sec, 40.55pts, 4.
Junior final (4 sheep): Craig Naylor (England) 6min 42sec, 34.1pts, 1; Alex Butler (Scotland) 6min 29sec, 35.95pts, 2; Murray Craig (Scotland) 8min 20sec, 36.25pts, 3; Billy Gray (Scotland) 9min 29sec, 39.7pts, 4.
Blades final (4 sheep): Allan Oldfield (New Zealand) 11min 27sec, 67.35pts, 1; Phil Oldfield (New Zealand) 13min 26sec, 69.8pts, 2; Willie Craig (Scotland) 15min 36sec, 72.55pts, 3; Mark Armstrong (Scotland) 16min 22sec, 72.85pts, 4.
Open final: Rosie Keenan (Scotland) 54pts. 1; Nikki Jane Gore (New Zealand) 54.4pts, 2; Stacey Mundell (Scotland) 62.8pts, 3; Sheree Alabaster (New Zealand) 73.4pts, 4.
Novice: Nisha Gordon (New Zealand) 53.4pts, 1; Johanne Mitchell (Scotland) 55.2pts, 2.