The Wanganui Bowling Club team came within just one shot of winning after a spirited comeback in the final the 68th Taranaki Women's Open Fours in New Plymouth last weekend.

Skip Pam Burgess, Denise Taylor, Sonia Wooding and Dot Belliss were among the 56 teams which entered the Summer of Bowls event, well up on the 48 teams from 2019.
Last year's winners did not return, with Papakura's Marg Davies, Hetty Bolscher, Cheryl Hunia and Les Eagleton claiming the title.

Teams were split into four sections of 14 to play six matches, consisting of 25-ends over three days of qualifying.

Four wins were needed to get to post-section play, with 22 teams making the cut.

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In the quarterfinals, the Papakura team took on another Whanganui club combination in Laird Park's Maria Klitscher, Joan Raymond, Debbie Wildermoth, and Pauline Pirere – picking up a 30-20 win.

The Wanganui four took on a Fitzroy team and won 19-15.

The semifinals were played on the Paritutu BC greens, with Wanganui comfortably beating a Tauranga Bowling Club team 26-10, while Papakura defeated Matua BC 24-11.

In the final, Papakura appeared to have things under control with a commanding 11-0 lead after only seven ends, which became 22-9 after 16 ends.

However, Wanganui stayed in the struggle and pulled the score back to 24-20 heading into the final end.

Needing at least four shots to force an extra end, Burgess wasted no time turning the opposition's shot bowl off the head, letting her team lay with five and hold a possible match win.

However, showing her cool under pressure, Davies pushed through the head and sat on the shot bowl, regaining advantage and giving her side the match win.

With nothing left to lose, Burgess pushed through the head, collecting the jack, but falling agonisingly short of the required count, picking up three and leaving a somewhat relieved Papakura to celebrate holding on 24-23.

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The Bowls NZ website said the final end thriller was a fitting finale to what has been a long and successful fortnight for bowls in Taranaki, once again excelling in their hospitality and seamless operations.

Action continued in New Plymouth today with the annual Aotearoa National Bowls Tournament, which will conclude on Monday.