A strong fightback from the Bowls Wanganui Men's team was not enough to prevent them joining the Women's squad on the bottom of the table at the conclusion of the Academy 5-Year and Under Hexagonal tournament's on Sunday.

It was four different seasons of playing weather in one weekend for the 12 provincial teams, made up of players with five years or less experience, as the good conditions on Saturday was followed by cold showers during the final round of games on Sunday.

In the women's matches at the Laird Park Bowling Club, Wanganui had a reasonable start in the first round, getting a win and a draw from the four games of singles, pairs, triples and doubles.

However, there was not much success after that, as Kapiti Coast and Manawatu were chasing the Hawke's Bay team to decide the title by the final round.


Hawkes Bay kept their advantage to run out the winners.

In the men's competition at the Wanganui Bowling Club, Wellington continued their domination of academy bowls as they lost only three triples games across all their matchups, easily winning the title with Taranaki second and Hawke's Bay third.

Wanganui had a tough Saturday with only one win and two draws across their 12 matches in the three rounds.

"They played against some very classy players, and I think they took a lot of experience from it," said coach Grant Winterburn.

After a team bonding session, Wanganui came out and were much stronger on Day 2, winning three of their four games in the fifth round, and then finishing with a win and a draw in the final round, although they still had to settle for sixth place.

Having introduced some players to representative level while still in their first year of bowls, Winterburn was happy with the effort, and thanked veteran player Ray Park for watching the team and offering pointers.

Winterburn singled out Anthony Hanna for having had a strong weekend.

Final points

Women: Hawkes Bay 28 (73), Manawatu 23 (41), Kapiti Coast 23 (30), Taranaki 20 (4), Wellington (4), Wanganui 6.

Men: Wellington 32 (100), Taranaki 21 (44), Hawke's Bay 18 (1), Kapiti Coast 18 (-28), Manawatu 18 (-33), Wanganui 13 (-84).