Father and son duo do it

Aidan Zittersteijn has completed a memorable year by skipping his father John to the Taranaki men’s bowls Christmas pairs title. Zittersteijn junior won a bronze medal representing the Cook Islands at the Commonwealth Games in April and last month was named Taranaki junior sportsman of the year. There was a further breakthrough on Saturday (22/12/18) at West End when Aidan skipped John to the Auto City-sponsored Christmas pairs title, beating clubmates Brendan Walton and Allan Batley 21-20 in a tense final. It was the first Taranaki titles for both Zittersteijns, although John won a Wellington gold star before immigrating north in 1990. The Zittersteijns opened up an early 10-1 lead in the final, before Walton and Batley turned the tide with consistent draw bowls. They took the lead 13-11 and then developed a topsy-turvy battle. Aidan Zittersteijn, after starting the last end two in front, found himself three down on the skip changeover, but he calmly drew second shot that Batley could not dislodge. In the semifinals, the Zittersteijns defeated Glen and Corey Broookes (West End) 20-13, while the Walton and Batley beat Mark Kuklinski and Scott Roberts (Tower) 19-13.

Meanwhile, West End’s Sue Winter and Susan Cottam claimed their second Clegg’s Funeral Home-sponsored Taranaki women’s open pairs final at Hawera Park on Saturday. After winning the title three seasons ago, the West Enders claimed the final 24-16 from another set of past winners, Pauline Kennedy and Kristin Stampa (Hawera Park). Winter and Cottam started the final in dominant fashion, leading 15-3. But Kennedy and Stampa clawed the deficit back to 19-16 with two ends to go. However, both ends went West End’s way to seal the result. In the semifinals the previous weekend, Kennedy and Stampa beat Margaret McCallum and Cindy Nicoll (Inglewood) 21-14, with Winter and Cottam edging out Jopie Half and Heather Thomas (New Plymouth) 17-16.

Both Winter and Cottam had enjoyed success last week as well, as members of the nine-strong West End team that was crowned inaugural Taranaki bowls3five champions. By winning the 10-side competition, West End now advance to the national knockout event. The first round, against Aramoho, will be played in the new year.

Paritutu back on top

Paritutu are back on top of Taranaki men’s interclub bowls. The city club secured the Bill Smee Trophy for the fifth time in six years after scoring two wins from three games in the final round, which was played at Stratford-Avon on Sunday morning. That took Paritutu to 40 match points to emerge as a clear winner. Tower picked up three wins against the previously second-placed West End Blue to take second prize in the TSB Realty-sponsored competition. It finished with 36, while West End White and West End Blue ended on 35 apiece. Hawera Park were placed 10th and have been relegated for next season. The winning Paritutu team comprised Aidan Zittersteijn, who continues to grow in confidence, in the singles, while the pair of Don Christensen and Darren Goodin impressed, dropping only one game during the nine rounds. Ian Andrews’ four included Mike Walsh, Neville Elliott and Rodger Hassall.

In other action from the weekend, Hawera Park’s Kristin Stampa picked up her third Taranaki mixed pairs title on her home green on Saturday. Stampa, who recently made the quarterfinals of the Victorian open singles in Australia, was teamed in the Cross Country Rentals-sponsored event with West End’s Grant Hassall. The composite combination defeated Don Christensen (Paritutu) and Cheryll Sharrock (New Plymouth) 18-1 in the final. In the semifinals, Stampa edged out Paritutu’s Barbara Batley and Darren Goodin 18-15, while Christensen defeated Fitzroy’s Ian and Rhonda Adams, the husband and wife pair to go the furthest, 17-13.

Surge in visiting numbers

Bowls Taranaki Executive Officer Neville Elliott has announced that the 2019 Taranaki men’s open fours will be the largest field in four years. Elliott said that 168 teams have entered, which is 12 more than last season, for the event which kicks off on January 21, 2019.

“We are delighted with the positive affirmation we have received from visitors,” Elliott said. There are 99 visiting teams in the competition, an impressive increase of 18 more than last season. Taranaki teams, however, are down six to 69. “We have to continue to work hard collectively in Taranaki bowls to ensure that we continue to give so many of the traditional bowlers what they want – 25 end matches, in a relaxed atmosphere, with good hospitality, greens and competition.” Most people in bowls know and understand the need for change, Elliott said, citing the successful introduction of the Bowls3five competition. “But we need to ensure that we get the right balance to ensure we are catering for all bowlers.”

Elliott said that the large increase in visitors for this season’s Taranaki open will be comfortably handled by enough quality greens – “in fact, we still do have an over-supply” – although he was still on the look out for some more houses. “We are still a few houses short, so if anyone out there that has a house available for the week, please get in touch.”

Elliott said the draw had been completed and would be available on the Bowls Taranaki website next week. The tournament handbook will be distributed prior to Christmas.

Revital Fertilisers Taranaki triumphant

Wanganui proved a happy hunting ground for the Revital Fertilisers Taranaki representative teams on Saturday, with the province claiming both the men’s and women’s quadrangular competitions. Taranaki narrowly took out both senior sections, the under-eights women were also victorious, while the under-eights men were third. In the senior women, Taranaki finished on 16 points to head off Manawatu and Wanganui (both 15) and Wairarapa (14). Cathy Andrews’ four of Val McEldowney, Bev Robinson and Susan Cottam continued their terrific record together, posting three wins from as many games. Sue Winter, in the first singles, had two wins, while the second pair of Sue Edwards and Shar Healey had one win and two draws. In the senior men’s, Taranaki and Wanganui both finished on 20 match points, but the former had a superior shot differential. Dean Elgar had three wins in the first singles, as did the second pair of skip Steve Walker and Aidan Zittersteijn, who impressed on debut and continues to develop. Darren Goodin’s new four of Jordan Linn, Adam Collins and Scott Roberts were also emphatic with three wins.

Meanwhile, West End has taken out the Vospers Funeral Home-sponsored Taranaki women’s division one interclub competition. Having been promoted at the end of last season, West End finished with 28 points. Tower were second on 25 and Paritutu Green third on 24. West End got excellent value from Susan Cottam in the singles and its pair of Jackie Moeahu and Trish Howard. Both disciplines won six games from seven. Completing the West End side was the four of Jill Dyett, Sue Winter, Jan Johnson and Janice Ropitini. In the second division, Fitzroy edged ahead of Inglewood in the final round to take the title on differential. In the men’s TSB Realty-sponsored first division, Paritutu lead the field with 36, with West End Blue (35), West End White (31) and Tower (30) the other clubs in contention. The last round will be played on December 2. Oakura have claimed the second division title, after they beat Fitzroy 2-1 in the final.

Linn, Walker create history

West End’s Jordan Linn and Steve Walker became the latest bowlers to attain gold star status, for winning five Taranaki titles, when they claimed the men’s centre fours at Hawera Park on Saturday. In conjunction with Dave Wilson and skip Craig De Faria, the West Enders took the honours 19-14 over a Tower team headed by Bruce Phillips in the final, which did not finish until well after 7pm. Linn and Walker created history with the win, becoming the first players to achieve their gold stars together, having also won all their titles in the same teams. Previously, the duo won the champion-of-champions pairs (2014), the centre fours (2015) and the champion-of-champions fours (2017) – both with Wilson and De Faria – plus the Christmas pairs last December. But halfway through the final of the South Taranaki Club-sponsored event, it appeared that Linn and Walker would have to wait another day for their moment of glory. Phillips and his team of Mark Kuklinski, John Roberts and Scott Roberts held the upper hand 9-5 after nine of the 18 ends. But counts of four on both the 10th and 15th ends, the latter after two accurate drives from De Faria, gave the West End side the advantage they needed in the blustery, cool conditions. Wilson was a consistent performer for the victors, De Faria produced his best attacking game in the finale, while both Linn and Walker contributed a number pf important bowls. In the semifinals, De Faria ran away 18-5 over Opunake’s Bob Commane, Kevin Ratahi, Paddy Deegan and Rodney Woods, while Phillips accounted for Mike Wesley, Bill Foley, Kelly Hill and Grayson McEldowney (New Plymouth) 23-12.

Women’s squad remains largely unchanged

Revital Fertilisers Taranaki women’s selector Vickie Kelly has stuck with the same players for the senior squad’s second fixture of the season. The team competes against Wanganui, Manawatu and Wairarapa in Wanganui on November 17 and contains just two changes from the side that met Kapiti last month. Open singles winner, Rhonda Adams, is not available, as she will be competing in the Victorian Open, a reward for her being ranked the top women’s player on the winter’s PBA circuit. Adams, who led for Maree Gadsby in the pairs against Kapiti, is replaced by Ann Duggan, who also put in a useful showing during the open singles. With the squad being extended from nine players to 10, the other addition is Chris Commane. Commane, a semifinalist in the singles, will handle the second solo spot, with Sue Winter the other singles player. The second pair of Sue Edwards and Shar Healey, and the second four of Val McEldowney, Bev Robinson, Susan Cottam and Cathy Andrews, both remain unchanged.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist elevated into rep team

Paritutu’s Aidan Zittersteijn, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist in April, has been selected in the 10-strong Revital Fertilisers Taranaki senior men’s representative side for a first time. Zittersteijn, who gave former Dominion singles winner Dean Elgar a torrid time in post section in the men’s open singles recently before bowing out, is one of two new faces in the senior men’s squad. The other newcomer is Tower’s Brendan Anderson, a past winner of the junior champion-of-champions singles and the champion-of-champions pairs on two occasions. Both newcomers will lead in pairs – Anderson for Gerry O’Sullivan and Zittersteijn for Steve Walker. New selectors Russell Hardy and Allan Batley have, not surprisingly, largely stuck with a number of established performers. The singles spots will be handled by Elgar and Craig De Faria, who recently claimed the Taranaki men’s open singles title for a record-equaling fifth time. Darren Goodin, a singles strength for Taranaki for many seasons, has been handed the skip berth of the fours. Joining him will be Jordan Linn, Adam Collins and Scott Roberts. The squad’s first outing is for the Arnott Shield in Wanganui on November 17. Prior to that a practice will take place at Paritutu at 5pm on November 9.

De Faria – new name but familiar face

A new name but a familiar face won the Brebner Print-sponsored Taranaki men’s open singles title at West End on October 22. West End’s Craig De Faria, formerly Johns, took out the event for a fifth time and in the process became just the fifth person in the history of bowls in the province to accumulate 20 Taranaki titles. It was just reward for one of the most reliable performers of this generation – and based on the form he exhibited throughout the three-day tournament, he has plenty of more titles left in him.

De Faria beat clubmate, and the champion of the previous two seasons, Dean Elgar 21-17 in a final that absorbed the crowd throughout. An early three to De Faria gave him a 5-2 lead, but then the remainder of the match the duo were never more than two shots apart – until the final end. De Faria and Elgar were in excellent touch, with both drawing and converting heads consistently. Elgar got to 17 first, but a brace to De Faria squared the ledger. Drawing well on the next, De Faria lay three shots, before Elgar drew the ace. Changing his hand and pushing through his own bowls, De Faria generated a count of two. And then he outdrew Elgar on the last end to cement the match.

In the semifinals, De Faria beat Paritutu’s Ian Andrews 21-12, while Elgar came from 18-10 down to beat Paritutu’s Darren Goodin 21-19. De Faria joined both Elgar and Goodin on five wins apiece in the event. Further highlighting the domination of the trio, they have between them won the crown 14 times in the last 17 years – De Faria’s first coming earlier in 1993. 32 of the 84 players qualified for post section.

Adams does it again

The star of Fitzroy’s Rhonda Adams continues to shine brightly after she claimed the Jean Sandel-sponsored Taranaki women’s open singles title at West End on October 21. Adams won a tough final 21-17 over New Plymouth’s Anne Brophy and in doing so took the singles crown for a second time. She now has eight Taranaki titles in total.

Adams showed the advantage of a solid amount of preparation, which included another very competitive winter Professional Bowlers Association series, coupled with a good dollop of outdoor play over the past month. In fact, Adams was ranked the top performed PBA female in New Zealand. As a prize for that distinction, she will compete in the Victorian Open in Australia in mid-November.

Adams had to call on plenty of her experience and form to head off Brophy in the final, which did not finish until 6.46pm. The first half of the final was largely dominated by Adams. She led 8-4, 11-5 and 15-10, with Brophy largely keeping in the game thanks to two threes. But then the left hander, who was bidding to repeat the efforts of her late father, Jack, who won the Taranaki men’s open singles in 1980, started to grow in confidence and belief. Brophy won the next four ends to take the ascendancy 17-15. However, a three to Adams on the next head turned the momentum once again. Three consecutive singles then confirmed Adams as the champion.

It was a frustrating end for Brophy after she had worked hard for her three earlier wins in post section, including a 21-15 effort over Chris Commane (Opunake) in the semifinals. Adams, after a first round bye, defeated Anne Duggan (New Plymouth) 21-16 in the quarterfinals and Susan Cottam (West End) 21-13 in the semis. Of the 30 participants, 11 posted the necessary three wins from four on Saturday to qualify.

Disappointing opening outing for reps

The Revital Fertilisers Taranaki women’s representative bowls side got off to a disappointing start to the new season when it was placed third in both the senior and under eight sections of a triangular event in Wanganui on October 14. Playing in cool, tricky, spring winds there were few positive results from a Taranaki perspective. For the majority of players, it was their first major competitive day of the season, and that showed.

In the senior ranks, Rhonda Adams and Maree Gadsby performed the best, winning two matches from three. After opening with an 18-16 loss to Kapiti’s daughter-and-mother duo of Rochelle and Audrey Stevenson, the pair overturned a nine shot deficit with seven ends to play to pip Wanganui’s second pair 19-18. In the third round, Adams and Gadsby beat Wanganui’s A combination 27-7. The senior four of Val McEldowney, Bev Robinson, Susan Cottam and Cathy Andrews performed solidly, also winning two-from-three, albeit one victory was in a cross-over match against the Wanganui under eights side, a result that was excluded from the overall standings. After two loses, the second Taranaki pair of Sue Edwards and Shar Healey scored an excellent 18-15 win over the Stevensons. Singles player Sue Winter opened with a win over her Wanganui under eights opponent, but then fell to both senior singles players from Kapiti and Wanganui in the afternoon. It was a day of learnings for the Taranaki under eights side, with the only win coming from Jill Dyett’s team in the first round.

Hassall and Kape have reason to celebrate

Paritutu’s Rodger Hassall and Okato’s Hamish Kape may be at opposite ends of the age spectrum, but both had plenty of reason to celebrate at the Taranaki champion-of-champions finals day at Paritutu on Saturday.

Hassall, in his early 70s, collected his 10th Taranaki title, while Kape, in his early 20s, claimed his first provincial crown.

Hassall, a perennial runner-up having lost 16 Taranaki finals throughout his 45-year career which commenced at Fitzroy, was heading for another disappointment when his four of Allan Batley, Philip Drought and skip Darren Goodin trailed the West End quartet of Bruce Lilley, Bruce Hall, Gary Lilley and John Garrud 16-9. That was after 12 of the 18 ends, but Paritutu won the remaining six heads to take the title.

Kape continued to ooze confidence in the men’s senior singles final in the afternoon when he beat Goodin 21-17. Goodin led 13-9 but Kape drew more consistently after that to secure the men’s title for Okato for the first time since Toby Andrews triumphed in 1969.

Paritutu’s Cathy Andrews completed a double for the season when she won the senior women’s singles. After earlier winning the open singles, she beat Fitzroy’s Rhonda Adams 21-14.

Inglewood’s Cindy Nicoll brought down the curtain on a brilliant season that netted three Taranaki titles when she skipped Sally Frater to an 18-15 win over Maureen Tamou and Patty Symes (Tower) in the women’s pairs.

The men’s pairs went to Sean Cullinan and Trevor Symes (Hawera Park) 22-16 over Steve Sabine and Graham Reive (Inglewood), while in the closest conclusion of the day, Dave Wilson, Glen Brookes and Bruce Phillips (West End) beat John Cottam, Steve Cottam and Ian Andrews (Paritutu) 17-16. Phillips had led by two shots playing the last end.

The women’s triples resulted in a victory for Ada Senior, Sue Winter and Jackie Moeahu (West End) who finished the better to deny Evelyn Webster, Bari Oliver and Ellie Goble (Lepperton) 20-13. The advantage of picked sides over drawn teams was to the fore in the women’s fours where Carolyn Wilks, Vivienne Jones, Joan Richards and Norma Rothwell (Fitzroy) beat Ella Smailes, Trish Coleman, Irene Waller and Girl Reweti (Hawera Park) 17-13.

Sabine gained some consolation for his pairs loss when he beat Nigel Berry (Hawera Park) 21-8 in the men’s junior singles. Susan Cottam claimed her second women’s junior singles when she beat Frances Busby (Tower) 21-7.

Dean Elgar wins NZ club singles

West End’s Dean Elgar has claimed his third New Zealand bowls title. On Friday (20/04/18), Elgar claimed the New Zealand men’s club singles title at the Browns Bay club on the North Shore. Competing against five other regional winners in the two-day event, Elgar was completely dominant, winning all five games in the round-robin event. Elgar has previously won the New Zealand singles (2017) and the national provincial intercentre title (2015). To achieve his latest triumph, Elgar had to win the Taranaki singles, which he did on Labour weekend last year, before taking out the regional crown earlier this month. “It is a good one to get,” Elgar said shortly after his win. “I was pretty happy with how I played. The green was similar to West End.” On Thursday, Elgar beat Gary Ford (West End, Timaru) 21-15, former Paritutu member Ian Lewis (now Opononi) 21-12 and Lance Tasker (Tauranga) 21-9. His victims on Friday were Kelvin Bland (Waipukurau) 21-15 and Chris Bullock (Westport) 21-7. “I had keep my head down and get those last two today,” Elgar said. “I had a good start to the season (making the world champion-of-champions final) and wanted to finish well.” Elgar has given Taranaki its third and final victory in the national club championships since its introduction in 2003. Bowls New Zealand have recently removed the event from its programme, with an intention to move towards a televised product with a higher profile. In 2003, Mary Maxwell, Elaine Miller, June Ward and Ellie Goble (Lepperton) won the women’s fours, while the 2006 men’s fours was won by Alton’s Mark Anderson, John Roberts, Bruce Phillips and Grant Anderson.

Jean Sandel Champion-of-champions

22/04/18: Three battle-hardened singles exponents and one highly promising youngster are the finalists in the Taranaki champion-of-champions singles. The experienced players are Paritutu’s Cathy Andrews and Fitzroy’s Rhonda Adams, who will contest the women’s decider, while Paritutu’s Darren Goodin will be seeking his sixth victory in the men’s event. In his way is Okato youngster, Hamish Kape, a part-timer on the greens but a talented player clearly on the rise. He also showed a coolness under fire, as worked his way through the three rounds on Sunday, beating a number of respected players – John Roberts (West End) 21-11, Kevin Waters (Waitara) 21-19 and Jim Priest (Oakura) 21-19. Kape opened up a 14-5 lead over Priest in the semifinals and still looked comfortable in leading 17-10. But Priest clawed back into the contest, closing to 20-19 behind. Priest drew two excellent shots on the last end, but Kape, with his final bowl, drew the shot to take out the contest. In the other semi, Goodin, after leading 10-1, received a tough challenge from Waimea’s Paul Christensen, before prevailing 21-14. Adams was a 21-20 victor over Vogeltown’s Gale Fache. Earlier, Adams had overturned a 15-9 deficit to lead 20-16 before Fache closed it up. Andrews was too clinical for Hawera Park’s Girl Reweti, winning the other semi 21-10. In the junior singles, West End’s Susan Cottam and Tower’s Frances Busby dominated proceedings in the women’s event. In the semis, Cottam beat Gael Keighley (New Plymouth) 21-7 and Busby defeated Lyn Chapman (Fitzroy) 21-7. The men’s junior singles final will be between Steve Sabine (Inglewood) and Nigel Berry (Hawera Park). Sabine beat the 2016 winner Paddy Deegan (Opunake) 21-12, having earlier led 14-2. Berry beat Michael Hori (Waimea) 21-20, but only after Hori staged a superb comeback from 20-6 down. But Berry held his nerve to win. All the finals will be held at Paritutu on April 28.

21/04/18: West End have made the final of both the men’s and women’s sections in the champion-of-champions triples at Stratford-Avon. In the men’s, Dave Wilson, Glen Brookes and Bruce Phillips will square off against Paritutu’s John Cottam, Steve Cottam and gold star hopeful Ian Andrews in the decider on April 28. The women’s final will feature West End’s Ada Senior, Sue Winter and Jackie Moeahu against Lepperton’s Evelyn Webster, Bari Oliver and Ellie Goble. Phillips’ side, after a hard-fought win in the first round over Rahotu’s Ian Lowry, posted an easy 24-6 semifinal victory over Opunake’s Bob Commane, Brian Brophy and Rodney Woods. The Cottams, father and son, and Andrews posted 17 points in succession to defeat the current Taranaki open triples titleholders, Clive Phillips, Alistair Hurley and Kevin Hills (Alton), 22-17 in the other semifinal. Hills’ side had led 17-5 before Paritutu stormed home on a tightening green. In the women’s semifinals,  Moeahu edged out New Plymouth’s Gael Keighley, Anne Duggan and Una Maha 20-14, while Goble’s side defeated Ilona Legge, Robyn Klenner and Gale Fache (Vogeltown) 21-8.

15/04/18: Neville Nodder is a well known name in surf lifesaving. And now he is a coming force in bowls. Nodder, who is a life member of both New Zealand Surf Lifesaving and his beloved East End club, proved to be an expert on the Stratford-Avon green on the weekend when he won the Taranaki first-year players title. It continues a Nodder family tradition, his late father John having won the 1990 New Year fours. In the final, Nodder, who is a member of the Fitzroy club, beat West End’s Hohepa Murray 17-13. Manaia’s Robert Clark and Paritutu’s Denis Holdt also excelled, making the semifinals.

Meanwhile, the finalists have been found in the Jean Sandel-sponsored champion-of-champions pairs.

The men’s, playing at Vogeltown, saw two surprises in the semifinals. Sean Cullinan and Trevor Symes (Hawera Park) edged out Trevor Johns and Darren Goodin (Paritutu) 18-16, while Steve Sabine and Graham Reive (Inglewood) continued their strong season with a 21-15 over Brendan Anderson and Kevin Hills (Alton). The latter duo had been gunning for a three-peat in the event.

The women’s decider will be between Inglewood’s Sally Frater and Cindy Nicoll and Tower’s Maureen Tamou and Patty Symes. Frater and Nicoll beat Jackie Moehau and Laureen Bright (West End) 24-16 in one semifinal, while Tamou and Symes accounted for Linda Clark and Brenda Rowe (Lepperton) 23-15 in the other.

14/04/18: It was 7pm before the last of the finalists were found in the Jean Sandel-sponsored champion-of-champions fours. While three of the semifinals were relatively clear-cut, the second women’s finalist was only found after a long, drawn-out contest, which saw Norma Rothwell’s Fitzroy side secure its position in the final, scheduled for April 28, in the dark. By that point the playing conditions had gone beyond difficult. Rothwell’s side of Carolyn Wilks, Vivienne Jones and Joan Richards had held the upper hand over the Tower team of Jo Bloor, Hazel Schwartfeger, Alison Sayer and Faye Hopkins for the majority of the match. In fact, they led by five shot playing the last end, but Hopkins’ quartet claimed a five to force the game into overtime. But Rothwell’s side scored two on the extra end to prevail 18-16. They will meet a Hawera Park team comprising Ella Smailes, Tirsh Coleman, Irene Waller and skip Girl Reweti in the final. Reweti’s combination defeated the Inglewood unit of Raewyn Wellington, Bev van Wynbergen, Sally Frater and Cindy Nicoll 22-8 in the other semifinal.

The men’s decider will feature teams from Paritutu and West End. The Paritutu side of Philip Drought, Allan Batley, Rodger Hassall and Darren Goodin eased past New Plymouth’s Tobyn Hori, Gordon Brown, Kelly Hill and Grayson McEldowney 20-7 in one semifinal, while the West End team of Bruce Lilley, Bruce Hall, John Garrud and Gary Lilley were equally convincing in the other semi in downing Inglewood’s Steve Sabine, Len Spick, Graham Reive and Eric Foreman 22-12.

The field in the Taranaki first-year players singles has been reduced to four players today, after four rounds at Stratford-Avon. The semifinals, which commence at 9am on Sunday, see prominent yachtsman Denis Holdt (Paritutu) meet Hohepa Murray (West End), while Robert Clark (Manaia) will play Neville Nodder (Fitzroy). The unlucky player on Saturday was Douglas Clark (Manaia), who won all four games on Saturday, but missed out on the semifinals on differential.

Regional playoffs

09/04/18: Taranaki teams both missed out in the fours at the regional playoffs in Wanganui today, with Wellington sides winning both sections.

06/04/18 – Taranaki teams both second: Both of Taranaki’s champion triples sides finished second in the regional playoffs in Wanganui today. After two wins, Clive Phillips, Alistair Hurley and Kevin Hills lost to the Victoria (Wellington) side of Richard Corry, Tim Toomey and Bradley Down, who went through with three wins. Wanganui’s Dianne Patterson and Lesley Bourke made it two wins in a row – after yesterday’s pairs triumph – combining with Karen Hunt to take the women’s event. In second place was Lorraine Crofskey, Loris Ropitini and Cindy Nicoll.

05/04/18: Wellington have won the men’s and Wanganui the women’s at the regional pairs playoffs in the River City today. Brady and Logan Amer were the men’s winners, after two wins and one loss. Jordan Linn and Steve Walker, Taranaki’s champions, had one win. In the women’s Leslie Bourke and Dianne Patterson won three straight, with Taranaki’s Chris Commane and Bev Robinson losing three.

04/04/18 – Dean does it: Dean Elgar has today qualified at the regional national club champ singles at the Victoria Club, Wanganui. But, only just! After a win and a loss, Elgar needed to beat Silverstream’s Adam Turner in the last round. Turner won his opening two games and held a 25-shot differential over Elgar. But Elgar had done his sums, and then he did the business, beating Turner 21-8. That meant he advanced by one differential point over Turner to the national final later this month, which will be held in North Harbour. Meanwhile, after one win and two losses, Cathy Andrews missed out in the women’s qualifier. The honours went to Kapiti’s Audrey Stevenson, who had edged out Andrews 21-20 in the first game. The pairs will be played on Thursday.

03/04/18: One win and one narrow loss, on the last bowl of the game, from three rounds saw Inglewood’s Steve Sabine and Cindy Nicoll finish in third position in the regional mixed pairs playoff in Wanganui today. Wellington’s Brent Stubbins and the evergreen Judy Howat, the 1990 Commonwealth Games pairs gold medalist skip, won the event. The singles is on Wednesday, with past Black Jack Cathy Andrews and the 2017 Dominion champion Dean Elgar, Taranaki’s representatives.

Senior reps miss out on quarterfinals

There was no joy for the Taranaki representative bowls teams in the New Zealand intercentre contest in Christchurch last weekend with both the men and women failing to advance to the quarterfinals.
The women’s side were most unlucky, missing out only on differential after they had secured 10 wins from 15 games. That would normally be enough to qualify.
Leading the charge for the Revital Fertilisers Taranaki side were the four of Val McEldowney, Bev Robinson, Susan Cottam and skip Cathy Andrews, who completed a superb tournament by winning all five matches.
Singles player Rhonda Adams won three games, while Sue Winter and Kristin Stampa had two wins in the pairs.
However, the news was not good on the men’s front, where the experienced Taranaki side failed to fire and fell well short of qualification in its worst result in the event since the new format was introduced in 2013. They won six games from 15 in total.
Again the four did best, with Jordan Linn, John Garrud, Steve Walker and skip Dean Elgar winning three from five. Darren Goodin, with an excellent track record, managed only two wins, while John Roberts and Craig Johns were off the pace with only one win.
Wellington claimed the men’s crown, defeating Dunedin in the final, while Canterbury saw off Northland in the women’s decider.
Meanwhile, the concept of building the tournament and they will come was again to the fore at the third annual Paul and Sharon Spiers Fitzroy 10,000 last weekend.
The three-day event attracted a team from Australia and players from throughout the country.
A Marlborough side of Bunny Cooper, Calvin Hart, Greg Smith and Sanjhe Prasad went through with seven-straight wins to take out the top prize. Second place went to a composite side of Tony Walsh, Allan Batley, Noel Probyn and Ian Mahoney, ahead of Oakura’s Andy Shearer, Wayne Robinson, Steve Muller and Jim Priest.
A capacity field of 32 teams, despite wet conditions on Saturday, were treated to supreme hospitality from Fitzroy.

No joy for Revital Fertilisers Taranaki

Revital Fertilisers Taranaki have been unsuccessful in their bid to qualify for the quarterfinals in both the men’s and women’s sections at the Bowls New Zealand Under-eights intercentre contest in Auckland today (17/03/18). The men got close to qualifying, finishing one-win off section runner-up, Thames Valley, who surprised many pundits by advancing. Auckland were convincing winners of the section. It was a disappointing end for the Taranaki men in the final national under-eights – BNZ announced during the week that the event has been canned for next season. Taranaki had finished runner-up in 2016 and easily qualified for the quarterfinals last season before being eliminated. But the side managed only six wins from 12 games to bow out this time. The four of Brendan Anderson, Bruce Lilley, Kelly Hill and Danny O’Sullivan did well posting three wins from four games. Dave Wilson, in the singles, had two wins, while Jordan Linn and Steve Walker, this season’s Taranaki Chirstmas pairs winners, mustered only one win. They lost all three games today, including the last to Thames Valley which ultimately spelt terminal for Taranaki. In the women’s, Taranaki battled in a tough pool, which Canterbury and Counties Manukau dominated. Highly fancied Wellington managed only two wins like Taranaki as well. Faye Hill, Hazel Schwartfeger, Jill Dyett and Leanne Halls opened with a win on Friday, but lost both matches today. Bridget Fletcher and Susan Cottam had one win and two losses, while Sue Winter lost all three games. The senior intercentre is being held next weekend in Christchurch.

West End second, Paritutu third

Paritutu were third and West End second in the New Zealand women’s interclub division one and two national finals respectively in Wellington at the weekend. Paritutu finished with 24 points in the women’s top flight, being eight wins from 15 games, with Mangahwai the surprise winners. They finished on 28 points. Heather Johns’ Paritutu four of Berys Norgate, Val Keightley and Gloria Shaw continued their brilliant form, winning four matches from five. Throughout the season, at Taranaki, regional and national level, the side won 13 matches from 15. Cathy Andrews, Paritutu’s singles player, recorded three wins at the finals, but it was in the pairs where Paritutu hurt the most, Bridget Fletcher and Barbara Batley managing just one win. West End finished with 31 points, two adrift of winners Carlton Cornwall, in the women’s second division. Janice Ropitini’s four of Gaye Holub, Melita Bracken and Jan Johnston impressed with four wins and one draw from the five rounds. Singles player Susan Cottam had three wins, as did the pair of Sue Winter and Jackie Moeahu. In the men’s finals, Eastbourne won the first division for the third successive year, while Blaketown (West Coast) took out the second division.

* The Revital Fertilisers Taranaki representative sides have been released for the up-coming senior and eight-years-and-under intercentre contests. The senior event is being held in Christchurch, commencing on March 23. Darren Goodin is the men’s singles player, with John Roberts and Craig Johns forming the pairs. Dean Elgar skips Jordan Linn, John Garrud and Steve Walker in the fours. Rhonda Adams is the singles player in the senior women’s side, with Winter and Kristin Stampa forming the pair. The four is Val McEldowney, Bev Robinson, Cottam and Andrews. The eight-years-and-under event is in Auckland from March 16. Dave Wilson is the men’s singles player, with Linn and Walker (pairs) and Brendan Anderson, Bruce Lilley, Kelly Hill and Danny O’Sullivan (fours) the rest of the side. Winter will handle the solo berth for the women’s side, with Fletcher and Cottam the pair. The four comprises Faye Hill, Hazel Schwartfeger, Jill Dyett and Leanne Halls.

Vogeltown reaches 100 years

Taranaki Anniversary weekend is shaping up as a joyous occasion for the Vogeltown Bowling Club when it celebrates its centennial with an array of activities planned. The club, which becomes the fourth in New Plymouth to reach triple figures, has a rich history of success and loyalty from its Norman Street location. It has had a number of talented players and consistently produced excellent playing surfaces. And as befits a club so close to Pukekura Park, it has always been superbly presented in park-like surrounds. Jeff Burgess, organiser of the centennial celebrations, said a big weekend is planned, commencing with a formal function at Pukekura Raceway on the evening of March 9. Bowls New Zealand President Jeanette Sinclair and New Plymouth District Councillor Gordon Brown will be among the more-than 120 guests in attendance. “We are delighted with the effort that has been made by a number of past members to attend the celebrations,” Burgess said, noting that a number of past members are returning from outside the province for the weekend. A premier men’s two-day tournament, sponsored by Professionals Real Estate, takes centre stage on Saturday and Sunday, with many of Taranaki’s top bowlers scheduled to compete, before the event concludes with a women’s fours event on Anniversary Day. The Vogeltown Bowling Club actually began life on Hori Street but shortly after, due to the growth of the club and the sport, moved to its current location, which is nestled just behind Carrington Street. From an earlier era, George Pulford, Joe Peel and George Mason were among the club’s most prominent players, while in later years, noted performers have include the 1998 Taranaki open fours winning skip mighty Mick Kennedy, Dean Elgar and the colourful Rex Pollard, who holds the record of Vogeltown titles, with in excess of 40. A women’s section was added to the club in 1960, with current member Gale Fache being the most dominant force over the years. As an indication of the quality of the greens, the club has hosted the final of the men’s open fours on a number of instances, most recently in 2012. In recent years, a golf croquet section has also been added to the club. “A lot of work has gone into ensuring that this is a celebration to remember,” Burgess said. “Vogeltown has much to celebrate and to look forward to.”

Taranaki second and sixth in Hexagonal

Revital Fertilisers Taranaki finished in second position in the men’s section of the central region Hexagonal representative event in Palmerston North during the weekend. But a poor Sunday saw the women slip to sixth placing. Wellington were decisive winners of both sections, finishing with 36 points (18 wins from 25 games) in the men’s, with Taranaki mustering 30 points to finish in a clear second position. In the women’s, the team from the capital accumulated 38 points, with Kapiti next best on 24. Taranaki won 10 games for 20 match points. Dean Elgar’s four of Jordan Linn, John Garrud and Steve Walker lost their unbeaten record to Maanwatu’s Pat Horgan on Sunday morning but rebounded emphatically in the last round in beating Wanganui’s Kevin Coombe to finish with a most satisfactory four wins. That was a good pointer for the NZ intercentre event, which is being held in Christchurch on March 23-25. Darren Goodin, playing the A singles, also warmed up well with four wins, his only loss coming on Saturday to Murray Glassey (Hawke’s Bay) 25-23. The A pair of John Roberts and Craig Johns had three wins. Excluding the B singles, where Taranaki battled, and the B pairs, the A combinations were the best-performed in the men’s event across the six centres involved. After winning eight games from 15 on Saturday, the Taranaki women hit the wall on Sunday. They won two matches in the morning, but lost the lot after lunch. Faye Gecse and Maree Gadsby, after three wins on Saturday, lost both matches on Sunday. Second singles player Rhonda Adams was the only other player to break 50%, with three wins. Final points, men: Wellington 36, Revital Fertilisers Taranaki 30, Manawatu 26 Hawke’s
Bay 24, Wanganui 20, Kapiti 14. Women: Wellington 38, Kapiti 24, Wanganui 24, Manawatu 24, Hawke’s Bay 22, Revital Fertilisers Taranaki 20.

For full results, go to: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qSbehGwY6UwIMMoDyiGSntA8Rps59A2SwJDmfPBni_8/edit#gid=1304949300

Both women’s sides claim regional interclub titles

There was double delight for Taranaki at the Naenae club, Wellington, on Saturday (10/02/18) when both Paritutu, in the women’s division one competition, and West End, in the women’s division two event, won the regional interclub contest. Both clubs now go forward to the national finals, which will also be held at Naenae, on March 3-4. Both men’s sides missed out. A valiant attempt by West End, in the men’s division one, came up one game short, with Eastbourne prevailing. Aramoho won the men’s second division, with Stratford-Avon in third position.
Paritutu’s campaign to win a third national women’s division one crown – they were champions in 2005 and 2016 – continued, but by the smallest of any margins imaginable. They finished on 10 match points, being five wins and four losses, as did Naenae. But Paritutu had a differential of +7, whereas Naenae’s differential was +6. Wanganui East and Paraparaumu Beach both finished on eight points. Heather Johns’ quartet of Berys Norgate, Val Keightley and Gloria Shaw were the mainstays of Paritutu, winning three games decisively. Cathy Andrews (singles) and Bridget Fletcher and Barbara Batley (pairs) had one win and two losses each.
In the women’s second division, West End took the honours with 12 points, followed by Paraparaumu Beach and Naenae, both on 10, while Aramoho were last on four. It was a real team effort from West End, with all three disciplines winning twice. The team was Susan Cottam (singles), Leeanne Halls and Jackie Moeahu (pairs), Gaye Holub, Melita Bracken, Jan Johnson and Janice Ropitini (fours).
West End put up a bold showing in the men’s division one event. They started brilliantly with three wins – Dean Elgar over Clint Park, John Roberts and Craig Johns over Justin Goodwin and Gary Lawson in the pairs, while the four of Dave Wilson, John Garrud, Steve Walker and John Sexton defeated Paekakariki. But the u-turns came in round two, with all three teams losing. Elgar gave West End a chance in the last round, beating former NZ rep Jamie Hill (Eastbourne). Roberts and Johns posted another win, but the fours lost. Eastbourne, who has won the last two NZ titles, advanced with 12 points, followed by West End and Wanganui (10 apiece) and Paekakariki (four).
Aramoho took the men’s second division with 14, followed by Silverstream (12), Stratford-Avon (six) and Waikanae Beach (four). Maurie Stieller’s four of John Sextus, Colin Jones and David Brunton did the best with two wins. John Forde and Paul Digby had one win in the pairs, but unfortunately, Malcolm Hoskin lost all three in the singles.

Inglewood and Alton take titles

Waitangi Day turned into an extra special celebration for the Alton and Inglewood clubs after they provided the respective winners to the Taranaki men’s open triples and Taranaki mixed pairs. In the Clegg’s Funeral Services-sponsored triples, at Hawera Park, it was Clive Phillips, Alistair Hurley and Kevin Hills who took the honours 21-14 from their former clubmate, Bruce Phillips and his West End side of Steve Temperton and John Roberts. Inglewood president Cindy Nichol collected her second Taranaki crown of the season, and third in total, when her and Steve Sabine, a third-year-player, upset Paritutu’s Ian and Cathy Andrews 23-11 in the Cross Country Rentals-sponsored mixed pairs decider at West End.

Hills’ side generally held the advantage throughout the triples finale. They led 11-5, then 16-8, and while the West End team closed to 16-12 and then 17-13, it was Alton that took the honours. Bruce Phillips had edged Tower’s Scott Roberts 19-18 in one semifinal, with Hills ending the hopes of Jocky Bright (West End) 26-15 in the other.

Nichol and Sabine were assisted by a six early on in their match against the Andrews. But the Paritutu pair had the score back to 11-all at the mid-point, before Inglewood dominated the second stanza to prevail. In the semifinals, the Andrews nosed out Kristin Stampa (Hawera Park) 17-16 while Nichol sneaked past Frank Pollock (Hawera Park) 16-14.

The victory for Sabine, the first in his developing career, comes shortly after being named in the Taranaki senior representative side to compete in the Hexagonal in Palmerston North on February 17-18. Sabine will lead in the B pairs for clubmate Gerry O’Sullivan, with the experienced combination of John Roberts and Craig Johns the A pairs in the Revital Fertiliser Taranaki side. Darren Goodin and Ian Lowry are the singles exponents in the men’s side, with an all-West End side of Jordan Linn, John Garrud, Steve Walker and Dean Elgar comprising the four. In the women’s team, Sue Winter and Rhonda Adams will play the singles, with the pairs comprising Faye Gecse leading for Maree Gadsby and Leanne Halls combining with Gloria Shaw. The fours side is Val McEldowney, Chris Commane, Susan Cottam and Cathy Andrews.

Tauranga South side takes the honours

By scoring on 15 of the completed 22 ends, the Tauranga South side of Karen Clarke, Robyn Davis, Marilyn McLeod and skip Margaret Reed have run out convincing winners in the final of the 2018 Taranaki women’s Open fours at Paritutu today (28/01/18). The side have deservedly beaten the Tower side of Hazel Schwartfeger, Frances Busby, Maureen Tamou and skip Patty Symes 30-16 in the finale, which was played in superb conditions, on a green running sweetly. In a nutshell, the Bay of Plenty side drew far more consistently in the final, putting more bowls on the head and largely controlling the match after the morning tea break. Symes’ side had headed into the interlude holding a 12-8 lead after nine ends. That had largely come about because of Reed’s side being wayward on ends two and seven, when Tower pulled a four and a five. The five gave Tower a 9-8 advantage, and that was backed that up with a two and a single. In fact, they may have wished for the scrumptious scones – some with cream and jam, others with cheese and tomato – would have been a few ends later. As when the sides returned, it was Tower who were at sea and Tauranga South who were the dominant side. Their rise started with a three, followed by a four, a two, two singles and then a five. Suddenly, Reed’s quartet had moved to 24 and Symes was still stranded on 12. The Hawera-based side managed to pull back a two and single, but the prior trend returned, with Reed taking the next four ends – with a single, a three, and two further singles. Playing for pride on the 22nd end, Symes took a single, but it was academic by then. Speaking on behalf of the winning side, McLeod, a steady, dependable player in the final, said the team had thoroughly enjoyed the tournament. “Patty has been around a long time. We knew it would not be easy.” McLeod was complimentary of the greens played on during the tournament and concluded by saying that the team will be back in 2019. Symes won her last Taranaki title away back in 1984 – although she has won even greater distinction as a Life Member and the current patron of Bowls Taranaki since. She acknowledged and congratulated Reed’s side on the quality of their bowls and on their victory. “And I can’t thank my team enough. They’ve given me great bowls all week. We will be back next year and will try for one better.”

Seven propels Reed into Open final

Collecting seven shots on the 14th end proved to be the difference as Margaret Reed’s Tauranga South side advanced into the final of the Taranaki women’s Open fours final at Paritutu this afternoon. Reed’s side of Karen Clarke, Robyn Davis and Marilyn McLeod trailed Denise Samuel’s Glenfield side 13-7 after 13 ends. But a count of seven on the next end proved decisive as they went on to win 26-20. They will meet the Tower side, from Hawera, of Hazel Schwartfeger, Frances Busby, Maureen Tamou and Patty Symes (skip) in Sunday’s final. Symes’ side were too steady in their semifinal in eliminating Inglewood’s Cindy Nichol 34-19, after leading throughout. Symes was also greatly assisted by a count of seven. That came on end 13, shortly before the afternoon tea adjournment, and it propelled Symes into a 22-10 lead. The equal third sides comprised of Paris Baker, Caroline Dubois, Barbara Seddon and Samuel, and Lorraine Crofskey, Margaret Luckin, Loris Ropitini and Nichol.

Samuel through to semifinals

Denise Samuel and her Glenfield team of Paris Baker, Caroline Dubois and Barbara Seddon are through to the semifinals of the Taranaki women’s Open fours after winning a thrilling quarterfinal at Paritutu earlier this afternoon (27/01/18). Samuel’s side has edged out Carol Cox, Kath Kendall, Deb White and Bev Corbett (Hinuera) 18-16 in the closest of the last eight matches. Glenfield will meet the Tauranga South side of Karen Clarke, Robyn Davis, Marilyn McLeod and Margaret Reed in the semifinals. Reed’s side won an all-Bay of Plenty clash 25-17 over Doreen Ryan, Huia Ratana, Lynette McIntosh and Wendy Green (Ngongotaha). The other semifinal will be an all-Taranaki affair, with Hazel Schwartfeger, Frances Busby, Maureen Tamou and Patty Symes (Tower) playing Lorraine Crofskey, Margaret Luckin, Loris Ropitini and Cindy Nichol (Inglewood). Symes showed her class in beating Nancy Wilson, Jan Jones, Miriam Pedley and Karen Forrest (Papakura) 27-12, while Nichol ended the fine run of Sandy Pettersen, Di Gemmell, Rayner Stewart and Ngaire Cowen (Palmerston North) 25-18.

Visitors dominate final eight

Only two Taranaki teams remain alive as the Taranaki women’s Open fours was reduced to the last eight in hot, humid conditions at Paritutu on Friday afternoon. Visitors were largely dominate. Bev Corbett (Hinuera) finished the better to beat Reen Stratford (Aramoho) 32-25 and will play Denise Samuel (Glenfield) in Saturday’s quarterfinals. Samuel was too good for Kristin Stampa (Hawera Park), winning 25-9 in their second game of the day. Wendy Green (Ngongotaha) remained a strong contender, overcoming Shona Chambers (Browns Bay) 25-15, but she has an even tougher quarterfinal opponent – Margaret Reed (Tauranga South). Reed’s side staged a remarkable comeback to beat Bev Robinson (Opunake) 33-25.Elsewhere Karen Forrest (Papakura), after leading by three playing the last end, pipped Liz Johnstone (Waitara) 23-22. Patty Symes (Tower) became the second Taranaki quarterfinalist, posting a resounding 32-13 win over Martie Sisson (Ohope). Earlier in the day, Ngaire Cowen (Palmerston North) and Cindy Nichol (Inglewood) had secured their places in tomorrow’s quarterfinals.

Comfortable wins in first round of post section

All six games in the morning round of post section have resulted in relatively comfortable victories, although two teams did concede six shots on an end late in their matches but still prevailed.
In the feature games at the top of the chart, Reen Stratford (Aramoho) beat Heather Johns (Paritutu) 26-17 while Bev Corbett (Hinuera) defeated Denise Taylor (Wanganui) 26-22. Stratford now meets Corbett with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals tomorrow.
Denise Samuel (Glenfield) made it through to this afternoon’s round after beating Mary Bettleheim (Ohope) 26-17. Samuel meets tough Hawera Park competitor Kristin Stampa, after her side ended the hopes of Fay Bird (Central Cambridge) 26-24. Stampa collected three fours during the game and looked safe when leading 25-15 with four ends remaining. But a six on the next end changed the dynamics of the match, but Stampa was able to hang on.
The first two quarterfinalists have been found – Ngaire Cowen (Palmerston North) and Cindy Nichol (Inglewood). Cowen’s side was too steady for Rhonda Adams’ Fitzroy side, winning 28-24, while Nichol held off Margaret Oates (Browns Bay) 27-22, again after dropping a six late in the match.

20 qualifiers in women’s Open fours

And then there were 20. After the successful completion of round six, there have been 20 teams that have been successful in attaining the necessary four wins to make it through to Friday’s post section rounds at Paritutu in the Taranaki women’s Open fours. Denise Samuel (Glenfield) was the only new qualifier to come out of the afternoon round in section one. Her side beat Wendy Moratti (Lepperton) 25-9. But not so lucky were the hopes of three local sides, Val Webster (Vogeltown), Cathy Andrews (Paritutu) and Val McEldowney (New Plymouth). All lost to dip out. The big clash of the afternoon in section two was between Shona Chambers (Browns Bay) and Gloria Shaw (Paritutu) who both needed the win. It was Chambers’ more experienced side that got the win 24-21. Liz Johnstone’s Waitara side, after two losses on Tuesday, made it through by beating Faye Hopkins (Tower) 27-14, but Ellie Goble (Lepperton) missed out. Section three produced a mammoth seven qualifiers. In the clash of the two teams needing the win, it was Rhonda Adams (Fitzroy) who got over the top of Sharon Siegruhn (Pukekohe) 27-12. Heather Johns also made it through, as did Denise Taylor (Wanganui) when her side inflicted the first defeat on Mary Bettleheim (Ohope) 30-20. Margaret Oates (Browns Bay) became the third North Harbour qualifier, posting an easy win in the last. However, Anne Searancke (Tawa) fell two points short in the match her side needed to claim to qualify.

Nine more teams qualify

This morning’s fifth round has seen a further nine teams gain their necessary fourth win in the Taranaki women’s Open fours (25/01/18). In section one, Cindy Nichol (Inglewood) took the desired route, beating Heather Thomas (New Plymouth) 28-17, as did Reen Stratford (Aramoho). The 2010 Dominion pairs winner beat Wendy Moratti (Lepperton) 26-20. But both Cathy Andrews (Paritutu) and Val McEldowney (New Plymouth) slipped up. Andrews went down 28-17 to Val Webster, to keep the Vogeltown team’s chance of qualifying alive, whereas McEldowney was soundly beaten 26-12 by Norma Rothwell (Fitzroy). Section two saw Faye Bird (Central Cambridge) and Kristin Stampa (Hawera Park) qualify. Bird beat Judy Hyland (Tauranga) 29-19 while Stampa worked overtime to end the hopes of Nellie Hewson (Fitzroy) 21-19. Both Gloria Shaw (Paritutu), who went down 29-17 to Maree Gadsby (New Plymouth), and Ellie Goble (Lepperton), who lost 29-26 to Liz Johnstone (Waitara), still have one more chance this afternoon to get win No 4. Johnstone also remains in contention, as does Shona Chambers (Browns Bay), win number three coming for the North Harbour side in the form of a 31-16 effort over Denise Cottam, a result that spelt curtains for the West Enders. A further three teams in section three joined Mary Bettleheim (Ohope) as qualifiers – clubmate Martie Sisson, Ngaire Cowen (Palmerston North) and Patty Symes (Tower). Sisson, in the feature game of the morning, kept Sharon Siegruhn (Pukekohe) on three wins, with a keenly-contested 22-20 victory. Cowen finally got over the top of Shona Lawn (Hawera Park) 27-22 while Symes beat Pauline Davy (Lepperton) 25-22. The favoured Wanganui team, skipped by Denise Taylor, kept alive its chances, beating Rhonda Adams (Fitzroy) 27-20, but must now beat Bettleheim to advance. 2013 Dominion fours winner Heather Johns (Paritutu), who skips an entirely different side this week, won this morning and also needs this afternoon’s win to get through. Siegruhn and Adams, both with three wins, are now battling for survival at West End. Bev Corbett (Hinuera) and Bev Robinson (Opunake) both recorded comfortable wins in the morning to qualify. Corbett beat Gale Fache (Vogeltown) 26-13, while Robinson showed no mercy to Malita Bracken (West End) in winning 36-6. Wendy Green (Ngongotaha), who like Karen Forrest (Papakura) had already qualified, ensured that Margaret Oates (Browns Bay) would need to play her sixth round. Oates, sitting on three wins overnight, went down 28-19 to Green. Forrest ended the hopes of Margaret McCallum (Inglewood) 21-14, but Anne Searancke (Tawa) still has a chance of getting through. The three-winner beat Brenda Rowe (Lepperton) 19-16 this morning.

Only four qualifiers so far in Open fours

Fifty-four teams started the Taranaki women’s Open fours on Tuesday morning, but by Wednesday evening only four of those had retained untarnished records and qualified for post section play after round four was completed this afternoon.

The four unbeaten teams are Margaret Reed (Tauranga South), Karen Forrest (Papakura), Wendy Green (Ngongotaha) and Mary Bettleheim (Ohope).

After edging out Denise Samuel (Glenfield) 22-19 in the morning, Reed’s quality lineup ensured their qualification by easily beating Janice Ropitini (West End) 25-8 in the afternoon. Samuel’s day got worse when her side fell to Cindy Nichol (Inglewood) 28-7. That has left Samuel needing to win both games on Thursday to qualify, and her first opponent, the 2010 winner Valda Rowan (Paritutu), is also in the same boat. However, things are looking brighter in section one for Nichol, Reen Stratford (Aramoho), Cathy Andrews (Paritutu) and Val McEldowney (New Plymouth) after all four sides posted two wins on Wednesday and need just one more victory on Thursday to advance.

There are no qualifiers to date in section two, with three winner Ellie Goble (Lepperton) being edged out 26-25 in round four by Nellie Hewson (Fitzroy), in a result that kept the later’s hopes alive with a 50% record. Gloria Shaw (Paritutu), Faye Bird (Central Cambridge) and Kristin Stampa (Hawera Park) are all one win shy of qualifying with two games remaining.

The Bettleheim crew underlined their domination of section three with two large wins on Wednesday – 29-14 over Ngaire Cowen (Palmerston North) and 25-6 over Laureen Bright (West End). Cowen is still handily placed, on three wins, as is Martie Sissons (Ohope), Rhonda Adams (Fitzroy) and Patty Symes (Tower). Symes lost her unbeaten record to Heather Johns (Paritutu), who has two wins, 25-18 in the afternoon. Denise Taylor (Wanganui) dropped both games and therefore needs both on Thursday.

Forrest’s side will sleep well after two one-point efforts – 20-19 over Jean Sheary (Matua) and 22-21 over Trish Howard (West End). Green’s fourth-round win was noteworthy, inflicting the first defeat on Bev Corbett (Hinuera) 26-19. Corbett, like Margaret Oates (Browns Bay) and Bev Robinson (Opunake), on three wins apiece, is still odds-on to make it through to Friday.

Symes continues successful start to Open

Taranaki bowls stalwart Patty Symes (Tower) continued her successful start to the 2018 Taranaki women’s Open fours, with her side posted its third successive victory at the New Plymouth greens this morning (24/02/18). Symes’ side posted a very solid 23-15 win over the previously unbeaten Denise Taylor (Wanganui) to be in an odds-on position to qualify. The other feature game of the morning between Margaret Reed (Tauranga South) and Denise Samuel (Glenfield), who both won twice on day one, went the way of the Bay of Plenty team 22-19. Two further unbeaten visiting squared off on the Paritutu front green and it was Karen Forrest (Papakura) who got the nod 20-19 over Jean Sheary (Matua). Favoured local teams Cathy Andrews (Paritutu), Bev Robinson (Opunake), Val McEldowney (New Plymouth) and Kristin Stampa (Hawera Park) all consolidated their positions with morning-round wins. Each side has two wins now. However, dual winner Shona Chambers (Browns Bay) is on thin ice now, having been beaten 28-25 by Faye Bird (Central Cambridge). Chambers side, which has won the title twice, needs to win all three remaining matches to qualify.

Nine visitors and five Taranaki teams unbeaten

There are 14 teams that have ended the opening day in the Taranaki women’s Open fours with two wins after fine conditions prevailed throughout the day. In section one, Margaret Reed’s powerful Tauranga South side posted two emphatic wins, while Valda Rowan (Paritutu), a past winner, and the well-known Denise Samuel (Glenfield) also finished with the perfect record. Reen Stratford (Aramoho) and Val McEldowney (New Plymouth), who opposed each other in the 2013 Dominion singles final, both rebounded in the afternoon to win after losses in the morning. Veteran Ellie Goble (Lepperton) and Taranaki rep Gloria Shaw (Paritutu) are the only unbeaten teams in section two. Shona Chambers (Browns Bay), after a narrow loss to Goble in the morning, responded to comfortably defeat Kristin Stampa (Hawera Park) 28-16 in round two. Visiting teams have largely dominated section three, with Ngaire Cowen (Palmerston North), Mary Bettleheim (Ohope) and Denise Taylor (Wanganui) all unbeaten. Bowls Taranaki life member and patron Patty Symes (Tower) also finished the day with two wins. It’s a similar situation in section four, where Karen Forrest (Papakura), Wendy Green (Ngongotaha), Jean Sheary (Mauta) and Bev Corbett (Hinuera) all won twice, as did Gale Fache (Vogeltown). By the conclusion of the sixth round on Thursday, teams need to have won four matches to qualify.

Close games to start women’s Open fours

As the sun started to strike down with power on the players, there was the second pressure of close matches for many participants as the 2018 Taranaki women’s Open fours got underway in New Plymouth on Tuesday morning. Cindy Nichol (Inglewood) caused a surprise in beating Reen Stratford (Aramoho) 23-22, while it was Cathy Andrews (Paritutu) who edged out her sister, Janice Ropitini (West End) 24-22. In the purported feature game, though, it was rather one-sided with Margaret Reed (Tauranga South) defeating Val McEldowney (New Plymouth) 28-14. Kristin Stampa (Hawera Park) edged Liz Johnsotone (Waitara) 23-22 in section two, while on the very next rink, in the battle between the multiple past winners, it was Ellie Goble (Lepperton) who got the nod 29-28 over Shona Chambers (Browns Bay). Section three saw another nail-biter with Patty Symes (Tower) denying Rhonda Adams (Fitzroy) 27-25, while Ohope visitor Mary Bettleheim finished up on the right side of a 22-21 scoreline against Pauline Davy (Lepperton). Denise Taylor (Wanganui) opened with a solid 21-13 victory over Shona Lawn (Hawera Park). Bev Robinson (Opunake), the 2016 winner, was another posting a one-point triumph, 25-24 over Margaret Oates (Browns Bay), while Jean Sheary (Matua) accounted for Ann Cargo (New Plymouth) 22-21. Favoured visitors Wendy Green (Ngongotaha) and Bev Corbett (Hinuera) also registered first round wins.

Strong visitors set to test locals in women’s Open fours

Fifty-four teams will contest that Taranaki women’s Open fours tournament when the 2018 edition commences at greens around New Plymouth this morning (23/01/18). Of those, 20 sides are visiting from outside the province, with the other 34 from Taranaki. Teams will play two games of 25 ends each day, with section play scheduled to finish on Thursday evening. By that point, six rounds should have been completed, weather permitting, and those finishing with four or more wins will advance to post section on Friday. Section one appears to be the strongest of the groups, with high-profile visitors Margaret Reed (Tauranga South), Reen Stratford (Aramoho) and Denise Samuel (Glenfield). Among the local teams in the section are Cindy Nichol, who’s Inglewood side has had a good season to date, past NZ rep Cathy Andrews (Paritutu) and Val McEldowney (New Plymouth). Two-time champion Shona Chambers (Browns Bay) leads the most likely teams in section two, where a number of solid local teams exist. Kristin Stampa (Hawera Park) is also a past winner, while Taranaki reps Maree Gadsby (New Plymouth) and Gloria Shaw (Paritutu) skip new-look teams. Denise Taylor (Wanganui) impressed in making the final of the Dominion pairs last season in New Plymouth. She skips a strong side, with the other three members — Cynthia Adams, Pam Burgess and Dot Belliss — winners of the Dominion fours in 2015, in section three. Taylor is joined by Sharon Siegruhn (Pukekohe), who heads a side which includes two members of last year’s winning team. Among the locals are gold star holders Rhonda Adams (Fitzroy) and Pauline Davy (Lepperton), along with Taranaki patron and the 2016 runner-up, Patty Symes (Tower). There is also a tough look to section four, with Wendy Green (Ngongotaha) and Bev Corbett (Hinuera), the former NZ rep who has won distinctions galore including the 1997 Dominion fours, meeting the likes of Gale Fache (Vogeltown) and Bev Robinson (Opunake).

Glory to New Lynn four

Turning in a nearly complete team effort, the New Lynn side of Adam Wishnoski, Keith Ansell, Gary Doughtery and Brody Dix have taken out the 113th Taranaki men’s Open fours bowls title. They have defeated Paritutu’s Don Christensen, Allan Batley, Rodger Hassall and Darren Goodin 29-16 in the final at Paritutu on Sunday evening. Greater consistency as a team and some mighty bowls from Dix is well proved the difference. While Goodin’s team was in touch after nine ends, trailing 10-8, Dix trailed the jack on the next end, when one down, to net a count of four. Dix got out to 20-9 in front in the final, before Goodin pulled it back to 22-15 with five ends remaining. But New Lynn finished the stronger. On the 21st end, when one down, Goodin, attacked the head but ended up three down. Two ends later, Paritutu held a five, but Dix expertly reduced it to one. In the pairs final, Steve Cottam and Ian Andrews (Paritutu) took the title for a second time in three years, beating Jim Priest (Oakura) and Aidan Zittersteijn (Paritutu) 22-19 in the decider.

Wishnoski to play Goodin in 2018 Open final

It will be Adam Wishnoski (New Lynn) against Darren Goodin (Paritutu) in the 113th Taranaki men’s Open fours final at Paritutu this afternoon. Wishnoski’s side of Keith Ansell, Gary Doughtery and skip Brody Dix ran away from Noel Probyn’s Fitzroy side 24-6 in one semifinal, with only 18 of the scheduled 25 ends completed. Goodin, with Don Christensen, Allan Batley and Rodger Hassall, defeated West End’s Ross Henderson 25-19. Wishnoski set New Lynn up against the Probyn side, which had Tony Walsh leading, Nigel Newton at two and Ian Mahoney skipping. And on the rare occasions that Dix was down on the head early in the game, he converted. After five ends, New Lynn led 9-0 before the Fitzroy side opened its account. However, it didn’t change the dynamics of the game as by the conclusion of the 11th end, New Lynn had surged in front 19-1. It didn’t matter what the Fitzroy side attempted, the jack always seemed to move the other way and they could only find holes when looking for rests. Goodin was again in fine touch in his game against Henderson’s side of Norm Broughton, Martin Dravitzki and John Garrud. A two and a three on the two ends prior to morning tea gave Goodin a 17-9 buffer and he appeared comfortable in leading 22-11 after 17 ends. However, a mini fightback from Henderson had the score back to 23-17 with three ends remaining. Goodin then secured a single before the vital penultimate head was delivered. Broughton drew two wonderful shots, completing an excellent tournament for the left-hander, and when Garrud added another, things started to get interesting. Goodin drove, dislodging the jack to the side. Henderson still had two and added a third with his first bowl. However, Goodin drew the shot back and Henderson was unable to remove it. In the pairs, Steve Cottam and Ian Andrews (Paritutu) will play Jim Priest (Oakura) and Aidan Zittersteijn (Paritutu). Cottam and Andrews beat Evan Jones and Ron Gadsby (Fitzroy) 21-13, while Priest and Zittersteijn edged John Forde and Paul Digby (Stratford-Avon) 19-17, after the scores had been even playing the last end.

Wishnoski and Goodin join Probyn and Henderson in final four

The remaining two semifinalists have been found in the 113th Taranaki men’s Open fours, with Adam Wishnoski (New Lynn) beating Ian Coombe (Mairangi Bay) 20-5, and Darren Goodin (Paritutu) overcoming Howard Ivory (Wilton) 23-14. In the semifinals, Wishnoski and Goodin join Noel Probyn (Fitzroy) and Ross Henderson (West End), both of whom advanced earlier in the day. Wishnoski, Gary Dougherty, Keith Ansell and skip Brody Dix were relatively untroubled in beating Ian Coombe’s Mairangi Bay side which had had a wonderful week but ran out of puff. Goodin’s side of Don Christensen, Allan Batley and Rodger Hassall had a very even tussle with Ivory, with little separating the teams. However, from 14-all, Goodin pulled away with three singles, a two, a three and a further single. In the semifinals, which will be held at 9am on Sunday at Paritutu, Wishnoski will play Probyn and Goodin will meet Henderson. Meanwhile, the last four teams have been found in the pairs, which will also be played at Paritutu at 9am on Sunday. John Forde and Paul Digby (Stratford-Avon) meet Jim Priest and Aidan Zittersteijn (Paritutu), while Steve Cottam and Ian Andrews (Paritutu) play Evan Jones and Ron Gadsby (Fitzroy).

Henderson delivers under pressure

West End’s Ross Henderson responded to the pressure and won a dramatic quarterfinal 24-23 over Paekakariki’s Peter Thomson in the 113th Taranaki men’s Open fours on Saturday at Paritutu. Henderson and his side of Norm Broughton, Martin Dravitzki and John Garrud led Thomson 24-22 playing the last end. Thomson held two shots on the last end, and he increased it to three when he turned out Garrud’s bowl with his final delivery. But as he did on Friday, Henderson rescued his side. With his last bowl, he pushed through the head, hitting the bunch, and walking through to get second shot. The other quarterfinal was more clear-cut, with Noel Probyn’s Fitzroy side of Tony Walsh, Nigel Newton and Ian Mahoney beating Australia’s Richard Meacle 30-25. Probyn had led 21-8 earlier on. Of the four round three matches played, the clash between the two Wilton sides, Howard Ivory and Anton Ferrari, was the closest. Ivory got the nod 21-20, after it had been even playing the last end. Elsewhere, Darren Goodin (Paritutu) beat Peter Belliss (Aramoho) 28-14, Adam Wishnoski (New Lynn) held off Ray Park (Wanganui) 19-17, while Ian Coombe (Mairangi Bay) defeated Steve Hoeft (Pt Chevalier) 24-16.

Close games order of the day as field reduced to 12

Close games were the order of the day as the 44 qualifiers were reduced to 12 surviving teams in the 113th Taranaki men’s Open fours at Paritutu and West End yesterday. The morning round saw three matches decided on an extra end, while three other games saw teams score sufficient points to overtake their opponents on the 25th end. Of the 12 teams remaining, four are already into the quarterfinals. Those teams will still play at 9am today, alongside the four remaining last-16 games, on the front green at Paritutu. Many of the leading teams fell during the day’s play and that opportunity has been seized upon by the teams that remain alive. The two confirmed quarterfinals feature Noel Probyn (Fitzroy) against Richard Meacle (Australia) and Peter Thomson (Paekakariki) playing Ross Henderson (West End). The winners of those two games will have the afternoon off before Sunday’s semifinals. The other games, at the last 16 stage, see Steve Hoeft (Pt Chevalier) opposing Ian Coombe (Mairangi Bay), Adam Wishnoski (New Lynn) playing Ray Park (Wanganui), an all-Wilton clash between Howard Ivory and Anton Ferrari, and Darren Goodin (Paritutu) squaring off against Peter Belliss (Aramoho). Probyn’s side, which is in fact being skipped by Ian Mahoney and includes Tony Walsh and Nigel Newton, nudged through both games by a single shot – 24-23 over Mark Anderson (Alton) in the morning and then 22-21 over Barry Wynks (Takaro) in the afternoon. Meacle’s side of Graham Clarke, Hans Van Roy and Al Johnson also had two very close shaves. In the morning, they got the necessary single on the last end to beat David Hood (Kerikeri) 19-18, and then held off Rodney Woods’ Opunake side 21-19 in the afternoon round. They had led by three playing the last end. Thomson, a Kapiti rep, advanced into the last eight for the first time, skipping his side of Henry Yee, Kurt Burgess and Ged Ebbrell to two hard-fought victories. In the morning, from 14-11 down after 19 ends against Mort Jones (Hillcrest), Thomson grabbed a single, a three and a five, and then held on to win 21-16. A count of four on the 16th end – the teams had been locked at 12-all – was crucial in the side ending the hopes of the 2010 runner-up Cliff Mitchell-Burnard (Te Kuiti). Henderson, who skipped a team to the last 16 of the Dominion fours last season, claimed his morning match against Ray Hudson (Central Levin) with his last bowl, when he pushed Hudson’s shot into the ditch. That gave Henderson’s side of Norm Broughton, Martin Dravitzki and John Garrud a 20-18 and in the afternoon they cruised home 29-8 over Alan Sandercock (Australia). Peter Belliss survived his only game of the day, just, 23-22 over Neil Candy (West End). Candy had led 22-15 with four ends remaining, but the Wanganui team did enough to get across the line. So, too, did their River City colleague, Ray Park, but again, only just. Park was taken to an extra end by West End’s Gary Lilley and Park found his weight at the right time, drawing the winning shot to clinch the contest 20-19. Ivory is making his return to the Taranaki Open a memorable trip, after missing the tournament for a number of years. John Earles, the “Sherriff”, is No 3 this time, which is the reverse of previous trips to the Open. In 1999 they were runner-up and finished third-equal in the following two seasons. On Friday, a good run on the home straight (ends numbered 20 onwards) saw Ivory eliminate Stu Settle (Hinuera) 23-18. In the afternoon, a mid-game scoring spree that netted 11 shots was the difference in beating Ian Porteous (Aramoho) 24-15. Clubmate Ferrari also had a day to saviour, upsetting the 2016 winner Brian Little (Palmerston North) 25-15 and his side repeated that scoreline in the afternoon in concluding the fine week of Terry Cullen’s Helensville side. Goodin posted his second win of the day 32-10 over Terry Mullin’s Pihama team that had punched above its weight all week. Wishnoski, who is leading in the New Lynn side, with Brody Dix skipping, defeated Ian Lowry (Rahotu) 26-19 in the second game, having roared away to a 19-4 lead after 10 ends. It was a disappointing end for the Lowry side, which had been unbeaten until that time and turned in a brilliant morning round in tipping out the most favoured Taranaki team, Craig Johns (West End), 22-17. Coombe sneaked through in the last round, grabbing a single on the last end to beat Ian Mason (Havelock North) 22-21. Hoeft advanced his round two match 26-17 over Ross Thorn (Naenae), threes on ends 24 and 25 inflating the margin.

Belliss survives – but only just

Kiwi great Peter Belliss came from behind to win his opening round of post section in the 113th Taranaki Open fours at West End on Friday. Belliss sneaked past West End’s Neil Candy 23-22, but only after scoring seven points on the last four years, including two on the 25th and final head. Belliss side now waits until Saturday morning to play its last 16 match. Wanganui’s Ray Park is the other team in the same boat. The 2005 winner got the nod on an extra end 20-19 over three-time champion Gary Lilley (West End). One of the more surprising results saw the elimination of Craig Johns (West End), who went down 22-17 to Ian Lowry (Rahotu). It was a good morning for the Wilton club, with Howard Ivory beating Stu Settle (Hinuera) 23-18, while Anton Ferrari ousted Brian Little (Palmerston North) 25-13. Barry Wynks (Takaro) came home with a wet sail – and it was needed – when he beat Warren Bellringer (New Plymouth) 25-23. Bellringer had looked in control in leading 22-10 after 19 ends. There were many other close matches. Rodney Woods (Opunake) picked up four shots on the last end to pip Kearin Pollard (Hawera Park) 24-22; Richard Meacle (Australia) got one on the last end to edge David Hood (Kerikeri) 19-18), while Ross Henderson (West End) beat Ray Hudson (Central Levin) 20-18 on an extra end. Noel Probyn (Fitzroy) beat Mark Anderson (Alton) 24-23, a seven on the 23th end being the turning point. By the end of today, 12 teams will remain.

Delight for teams as five wins becomes enough

Persistent early morning rain resulted in the cancellation of round eight, with only round seven completed in the 113th Taranaki men’s Open fours on Thursday.

Play was staggered across the greens, as the rains moved across north Taranaki, but the disruption didn’t stop a number of teams who had four wins over night qualifying.

Peter Belliss (Aramoho) made no race of his game against Terry Mullin (Pihama), winning 26-5 at Waimea, while there was happiness at the same location for Des Brophy (Fitzroy) and Steve Hoeft (Pt Chevalier) after they respectively beat Gary Russek (Omokoroa) 22-13 and Peter Sprake (New Plymouth) 26-8.

Adam Wishnoski’s New Lynn team, which is now being skipped by Brody Dix, beat Gary McKay (Australia), who also needed the win, 28-22. Cliff Mitchell-Burnard (Te Kuiti) advanced too with a 22-13 win over Tom Murfitt (Massey Avenue).

Noel Probyn (Fitzroy) made it through 26-14 over Terry Cullen (Helensville), who had already qualified.

Two local teams went at it with both needing the win to get through. It was Neville Goldsworthy (Fitzroy) who got the nod 24-22 over Neville Sole (West End).

After a tough start to the week, following a family bereavement, Trevor Butcher (Palmerston North) qualified, win number five coming 18-8 over Dennis McEwen (Stratford-Avon).

There was also joy for John Carter (Hutt) as his team qualified 28-20 over Tony Holdsworth (Central).

Bruce Mummery (Paritutu) qualified for the first time, getting home 16-14 over Paul Fowlie (Opononi). Richard Meacle (Australia) got through 23-15 over Barry Pepperell (Waitara).

Section six produced six qualifiers with Ian Coombe (Mairangi Bay) beating Alan Sandercock (Australia) 26-22, Peter Dorreen (Far North RSA) beating Barry Wynks (Takaro) 15-12, Wayne McDougall (Australia) defeating Frank Pollock (Hawera Park) 26-17 and Mark Anderson (Alton) prevailing 27-11 over Rangi Hiroti (Inglewood). 2006 Dominion fours winner Ross Thorn (Naenae) got home 29-28 over six-winner Rodney Woods (Opunake).

After losing two games on Wednesday, the tide turned for Warren Bellringer’s New Plymouth side. It was due to meet Peter Clark (Tauranga South), who had already won five matches. Unfortunately, one of Clark’s players fell over on Wednesday evening, sustaining injuries, while another team member had a family illness to deal with at home. It meant the team reluctantly decided to withdraw from post section, while Bellringer advanced by virtue of the default.

A number of teams got close to qualifying, but missed their necessary fifth win.

The hopes of 92-year-old Jack Pringle, playing for Mike Walsh (Paritutu), ended when they lost 27-10 to Morris Williams (Omaranui).

Stratford-Avon’s hopes sunk when David Brunton and Maurie Stieller, both four winners, were defeated. Stieller went down to Ian Lowry (Rahotu) 30-14, while Brunton lost 23-8 to Darren Scott (West End).

Waimea’s last chance, Brian Mottram, also dipped out, losing 26-19 to Gavyn Horo (Rahotu).

Hawke’s Bay centre president Ken Greeks (Napier) missed out on qualifying, falling 30-22 to big Bob Harris (Canterbury), while the tournament’s No 1 entertainer, Tupu Campbell (Far North RSA), needing the win, was never in the hunt in losing 35-7 to Philip Drought (Paritutu).

Merv Jakeman (Wainuiomata), after posting a tournament-high of 50 points on Wednesday, narrowly failed to advance. His side lost 23-20 to Rex Holmes (Paraparaumu Beach).

Bernie Martelletti (Te Puke) narrowly missed out on qualifying, losing 24-22 to Mort Jones (Hillcrest), a seven-winner, while Tom Henderson (Paraparaumu Beach) lost 30-17 to Bill Johnston (Fitzroy).

Ian Busby, bidding to be the first team from Tower to qualify, missed by two points — 23-21 to Evert Kremer (Paraparaumu Beach).

Graham Baxter (Hawera Park) missed out 25-20 to John Sexton (West End), as did Garry Murfitt (West End) who lost 22-19 to Steve Brien (Stokes Valley).

Delight for teams as five wins becomes enough

Persistent early morning rain resulted in the cancellation of round eight, with only round seven completed in the 113th Taranaki men’s Open fours on Thursday. Play was staggered across the greens, as the rains moved across north Taranaki, but the disruption didn’t stop a number of teams who had four wins over night qualifying. Peter Belliss (Aramoho) made no race of his game against Terry Mullin (Pihama), winning 26-5 at Waimea, while there was happiness at the same location for Des Brophy (Fitzroy) and Steve Hoeft (Pt Chevalier) after they respectively beat Gary Russek (Omokoroa) 22-13 and Peter Sprake (New Plymouth) 26-8. Adam Wishnoski’s New Lynn team, which is now being skipped by Brody Dix, beat Gary McKay (Australia), who also needed the win, 28-22. Cliff Mitchell-Burnard (Te Kuiti) advanced too with a 22-13 win over Tom Murfitt (Massey Avenue). Noel Probyn (Fitzroy) made it through 26-14 over Terry Cullen (Helensville), who had already qualified. Two local teams went at it with both needing the win to get through. It was Neville Goldsworthy (Fitzroy) who got the nod 24-22 over Neville Sole (West End). After a tough start to the week, following a family bereavement, Trevor Butcher (Palmerston North) qualified, win number five coming 18-8 over Dennis McEwen (Stratford-Avon). There was also joy for John Carter (Hutt) as his team qualified 28-20 over Tony Holdsworth (Central). Bruce Mummery (Paritutu) qualified for the first time, getting home 16-14 over Paul Fowlie (Opononi). Richard Meacle (Australia) got through 23-15 over Barry Pepperell (Waitara). Section six produced six qualifiers with Ian Coombe (Mairangi Bay) beating Alan Sandercock (Australia) 26-22, Peter Dorreen (Far North RSA) beating Barry Wynks (Takaro) 15-12, Wayne McDougall (Australia) defeating Frank Pollock (Hawera Park) 26-17 and Mark Anderson (Alton) prevailing 27-11 over Rangi Hiroti (Inglewood). 2006 Dominion fours winner Ross Thorn (Naenae) got home 29-28 over six-winner Rodney Woods (Opunake). After losing two games on Wednesday, the tide turned for Warren Bellringer’s New Plymouth side. It was due to meet Peter Clark (Tauranga South), who had already won five matches. Unfortunately, one of Clark’s players fell over on Wednesday evening, sustaining injuries, while another team member had a family illness to deal with at home. It meant the team reluctantly decided to withdraw from post section, while Bellringer advanced by virtue of the default.

A number of teams got close to qualifying, but missed their necessary fifth win. The hopes of 92-year-old Jack Pringle, playing for Mike Walsh (Paritutu), ended when they lost 27-10 to Morris Williams (Omaranui). Stratford-Avon’s hopes sunk when David Brunton and Maurie Stieller, both four winners, were defeated. Stieller went down to Ian Lowry (Rahotu) 30-14, while Brunton lost 23-8 to Darren Scott (West End). Waimea’s last chance, Brian Mottram, also dipped out, losing 26-19 to Gavyn Horo (Rahotu). Hawke’s Bay centre president Ken Greeks (Napier) missed out on qualifying, falling 30-22 to big Bob Harris (Canterbury), while the tournament’s No 1 entertainer, Tupu Campbell (Far North RSA), needing the win, was never in the hunt in losing 35-7 to Philip Drought (Paritutu). Merv Jakeman (Wainuiomata), after posting a tournament-high of 50 points on Wednesday, narrowly failed to advance. His side lost 23-20 to Rex Holmes (Paraparaumu Beach). Bernie Martelletti (Te Puke) narrowly missed out on qualifying, losing 24-22 to Mort Jones (Hillcrest), a seven-winner, while Tom Henderson (Paraparaumu Beach) lost 30-17 to Bill Johnston (Fitzroy). Ian Busby, bidding to be the first team from Tower to qualify, missed by two points — 23-21 to Evert Kremer (Paraparaumu Beach). Graham Baxter (Hawera Park) missed out 25-20 to John Sexton (West End), as did Garry Murfitt (West End) who lost 22-19 to Steve Brien (Stokes Valley).

Delany, Pinker and Holmes all eliminated

As the water started to fall, albeit only in a soft and unobtrusive way, a number of the pre-tournament favourites were eliminated from the 113th Taranaki Open fours on Wednesday. The biggest names to fall were Dan Delany (Royal Oak), Cary Pinker (Wanganui East) and Rex Holmes (Paraparaumu Beach) when they all recorded their third loss.  The other big story of the day was that Peter Belliss (Aramoho) dropped both his games, meaning, if the weather Gods are kind, the Wanganui team will need to win both matches on Thursday to qualify. Delany, the four-time winner, lost in the sixth round 23-22 to Fitzroy’s Colin Christie, despite holding a handy early advantage. Earlier in the day Delany had come from 21-7 down to beat Warren Bellringer (New Plymouth) 26-25, Delany getting the shot with his last bowl. Bellringer’s day didn’t get any better, either, falling to five-winner Ross Henderson (West End). Pinker beat Holmes in the morning 30-12. But then he was edged out 22-19 by five-winner Gary Lilley (West End) in the afternoon to also be eliminated. The double slip-up from the Belliss side was a real surprise as his team had been tracking very well. In the morning, Russell Hardy’s Tower team finally found some form, beating Belliss 27-25, while in the afternoon it was the Fitzroy four headed by Des Brophy that won 27-18. It was Brophy’s fourth win. There were plenty of happy bowlers by the end of the day, nonetheless, with 10 teams having already qualified. Howard Ivory (Wilton) and Mike Cavanagh (Pukekohe) both emerged with the perfect record from section seven.  Cavanagh, who made the last 16 in both 2015 and 2016, beat Gerard Slattery (Hinuera) 25-12 and Richard Meacle (Australia) 27-7. Ivory beat Alan Melrose (Helensville) 30-13 and then eliminated Slattery 25-20. There are also two qualifiers already in section six, with Craig Johns (West End and Rodney Woods (Opunake) both six winners. Johns looms as the best local hope of victory, beating Scott McGavin (Bulls) 29-15 and Philip Drought (Paritutu) 25-6.  Woods and his team of Bob Commane, Paddy Deegan and Kevin Ratahi sneaked past Drought 24-23 and then beat Mark Dudley (Hawera Park) 26-8. The family team headed by Rahotu’s Ian Lowry continued their impressive run to qualify. They ended the hopes of John Sexton (West End) 29-22 and then beat Don Gyde (Inglewood) 37-21. Brian Little’s champion side from 2016 also took the direct route to post section, winning both games. The Palmerston North side beat Terry Osment (Te Awamutu) 24-14 and Joe Peel (Inglewood) 24-11. Kevin Coombe (Aramoho) also qualified with some style. His side beat Gerry O’Sullivan (Inglewood) 26-12 and Garry Banks (Mairangi Bay) 31-18. The results ended the hopes of both O’Sullivan and Banks. It’s been a great week so far for the two Hillcrest teams in the Open, with both Dave Selby and Mort Jones unbeaten. Selby’s side had a trouble-free day beating George Markie (Vogeltown) 30-9 and then notched up win No 6 in beating James Carter (Paritutu) 37-3, while Jones beat Ian Andrews (Paritutu) 24-19 and Bill Johnston (Fitzroy) 27-20. Peter Thomson (Paekakariki) is the other qualifier. Thomson’s side edged Brophy 23-20 in the morning and then beat Peter Sprake (New Plymouth) 21-7 in the afternoon.

Weather permitting, two further rounds will be played on Thursday. Six wins are required to qualify.

Delany survives but upsets elsewhere

Three of the pacesetters have suffered their first defeat on Wednesday morning in the fifth round of the 113th Taranaki men’s Open fours – Peter Belliss (Aramoho), Darren Goodin (Paritutu) and Ray Park (Wanganui). But Dan Delany lives to fight another round – although only just, sneaking past Warren Bellringer (New Plymouth) 26-25.

Belliss was upstaged by Russell Hardy (Tower), who after an uneventful week to date finally found their feet, triumphing 27-25. Goodin, unbeaten until this morning albeit without the convincing nature of Belliss, was tipped up 26-25 by John Hall (Hawera Park), while Park went down 28-15 to the Paraparaumu Beach side entered under the name of Tom Henderson but skipped by Ray Boffa.

In the feature, must-win game at Waitara, it was Cary Pinker (Wanganui East) who remained alive, and Rex Holmes (Paraparaumu Beach) who was eliminated, the river city team racing away to a 30-12 win.

Some light rain was encountered during the morning round and more of the same is expected this afternoon.

A further loss to Delany

Former Blackjack Dan Delany (Royal Oak), a four-time winner of the Taranaki Open, suffered his second defeat during section play of the 113th tournament at Fitzroy yesterday afternoon.

Delany is skipping a familiar side with Mike Nasey and Joe Whitelaw, two players who have shared in multiple Open successes, and one newcomer this year, Gary Cotter. Cotter impressed in last year’s event leading for a Hamilton side.

After a loss and a win on Monday, Delany  appeared in reasonable touch in beating Russell Haddock (Wanganui) 25-17 yesterday morning.

But in the afternoon, the Delany side ran into a wily side from Tauranga South of Robbie Frelan, dual Dominion fours winner Maurice Hickey, John Simons and 1987 Dominion pairs winner Peter Clark.

Clark is now 82, but still one of the best skips going around. His team, after two wins on Monday, were somewhat smarting, having seen a lead in the morning evaporate as they fell 18-15 to three-winner Ross Henderson (West End).

But the Bay of Plenty team turned things around in the last round of the day, prevailing 30-19 to keep themselves in a solid over-night position. The loss left Delany’s team needing to win their last four matches.

This morning they face Warren Bellringer (New Plymouth), who skips the only side in the section with an unblemished record.

Bellringer’s team received its sternest test to date when it beat Dave Hewitt (Silverstream) 25-16 in the morning and then accounted for Richard Death (Te Awamutu) 27-6 in the later round.

Delany is not alone in the two-win, two-loss record, with a number of other teams predicted to qualify also in the same boat.

Those teams include Adam Wishnoski (New Lynn), Rex Holmes (Paraparaumu Beach), Cary Pinker (Wanganui East) and Steve Hoeft (Pt Chevalier).

The most noted causality is Russell Hardy (Tower), after the 2003 winner dropped his morning game 26-15 to three-winner Trevor Rayner (Tawa).

There are 17 teams that are still to taste defeat in the Taranaki Open fours and some have already indicated that it will take a team of some quality to inflict that first loss.

Among those teams are Brian Little (Palmerston North), Ray Park (Wangannui), Peter Belliss (Aramoho) and Craig Johns (West End).

Little, after beating Colin Salmon (Taradale) 30-16. ended the day with a convincing 25-11 win over a team of predominantly newer bowlers headed by Darren Scott (West End), which until then had posted three strong wins.

Johns opened the day with a 21-10 win over Naenae’s Ross Thorn in a match closer than the score indicated, the greater consistency of the West End side prevailing. Thorn had a further hiccup in the afternoon losing 27-20 to three-winner Ken Greeks (Napier), with Johns defeating Bob Harris (Canterbury) 25-11.

Park saw off the challenge of Paritutu’s Ian Andrews 26-18 and then accounted for Tower’s Jeff Ward 30-9.

Belliss was kept honest for parts of his morning match, seeing off Gary Russek (Omokoroa) 23-13 and then cruised home 28-9 over David Mora (Whangarei).

David Hood (Kerikeri) remained unbeaten, although it was a little tight in the morning when they beat Tony Holdsworth (Central) 20-16.

The last game of the day to finish was between Ian Lowry (Rahotu) and Neil Candy (West End). Both teams headed into the game with three wins and it was the coastal side that came through, winning 26-20.

Johns continues march towards qualification

It was West End’s Craig Johns and his team who ran out comfortable 21-10 victors over Naenae’s Ross Thorn in the feature game of the morning on day two of the Taranaki men’s Open fours. The loss was Thorn’s first for the week, while Johns’ side is now half way to qualifying. Tower’s Russell Hardy lost his third match, this time falling 26-15 to Tawa’s Trevor Rayner, to exit the competition. Rayner now has two wins. There was also more damage in section nine, where after a win and a loss on Monday, both Cary Pinker and Rex Holmes were beaten. Holmes went down 26-23 to George Markie’s Voegltown side, while Pinker was nosed out 22-20 by Dave Selby’s Hillcrest team. Selby has three-straight victories, as does Havelock North’s Ian Mason in what promises to be a tough section to advance from. Incidentally, Holmes and Pinker are due to meet in the first game on Wednesday morning, meaning that one of the two top teams will be eliminated. Two other interesting matches this morning between unbeaten teams saw Kevin Coombe (Aramoho) nudge Kevin Hills (Alton) 20-19, while the 2005 winner Ray Park (Wanganui) defeated Ian Andrews (Paritutu) 26-18.

Hot and humid on opening day of Taranaki Open

Hot, humid conditions greeted bowlers on the first day of the 113th Taranaki men’s Open fours in New Plymouth and surrounding areas on Monday. By the end of the date, as predicted, most of the big guns had emerged unscathed – but there were exceptions, including past Dominion pairs winners Dan Delany (Royal Oak) and Rex Holmes (Paraparaumu Beach), who along with three-time winner Gary Lilley (West End), Cary Pinker (Wanganui East), Mark Anderson (Alton) and Stu Settle (Hinuera) all dropped a match during the day. The plight of the 2003 winner Russell Hardy (Tower) was much worst, his side losing both games and meaning that they must win the remaining six matches to qualify. But there were a host of top teams who didn’t have too many problems, even though by the end of the day, some greens had begin to show signs of burning. Heading that list of visitors were Brian Little (Palmerston North), Barry Wynks (Takaro), Peter Dorreen (Far North RSA), Howard Ivory (Wilton), Ray Park (Wanganui), Peter Clark (Tauranga South) and Peter Belliss (Aramoho). A number of Taranaki teams also got off on the right footing with two wins, including Craig Johns (West End), Ian Andrews (Paritutu), Graham Baxter (Hawera Park) and Fred Hughes (Lepperton). After sneaking home 18-17 against Mervyn Jackman (Wainuiomata), the Lepperton side had the satisfaction of upsetting Holmes, who has made the Open final on three separate occasions, 23-19. Delany fell in his first match 24-20 to Evert Kremer, a two-winner from Paraparaumu Beach. But Delany got back on track in beating Ian Busby (Tower) 25-18 in the afternoon. Lilley dropped his match to Mike Oldfield (Tauranga South) 22-18, while Anderson was ousted 25-22 by Alan Sandercock (Australia). Settle’s loss was no complete surprise, being tipped up 28-24 in the feature game of the morning by Noel Probyn (Fitzroy). Settle rebounded to win in the afternoon, whereas Probyn was defeated by another team with a 50% record, Garry Murfitt (West End). Hardy’s opening loss was to Pihama’s underrated Terry Mullin 23-20 and his hopes took a further dive to Peter Thomson (Paekakariki) 24-23.

Delany beaten in opening round

The demise of four-time winner Dan Delany (Royal Oak) was the main talking point from the opening round of section play in the 113th Taranaki men’s open fours. Delany’s side was beaten 24-20 by Evert Kremer (Paraparaumu Beach). Delany was not alone, with some other leading sides also faltering. Russell Hardy (Tower), the 2003 winner, lost 23-20 by the tough Terry Mullin (Pihama). Cliff Mitchell-Burnard (Te Kuiti), after missing the 2017 event, was beaten 30-13 by Neil Candy (west End), but Candy’s clubmate John Sexton was dispatched 24-17 by Gary McKay (Australia). In the feature game of the morning, Noel Probyn (Fitzroy) got the nod 28-24 over Stu Settle (Hinuera). There were no problems for Brian Little (Palmerston North), Kevin Coombe (Aramoho), Mark Anderson (Alton), Craig Johns (West End), Howard Ivory (Wilton) and Rex Holmes (Paraparaumu Beach). Ross Thorn (Naenae) edged past Manawatu rep Scotty McGavin (Bulls) 27-24. Terry Cullen (Helensville) beat Garry Murfitt (West End) 23-15, while Ian Andrews (Paritutu) overcame a mid-game deficit to beat Bernie Martelletti (Te Puke) 25-20. In a nail-biter, Anton Ferrari (Wilton) pipped Tom Henderson (Paraparaumu Beach) 24-23, the latter side being skipped by Ray Boffa, who yesterday advanced to the final of the Manawatu Open Triples. Peter Belliss (Aramoho) got home 21-14 over a useful Pt Chevalier side skipped by Steve Hoeft, while Peter Thomson (Paekakariki) posted the biggest win of the morning – 43-14 over David Mora (Whangarei).

New Plymouth flooded with bowlers for Taranaki men’s open fours

North Taranaki has been invaded once more by hundreds of bowlers with the annual Taranaki men’s open fours tournament starting on Monday. There are 156 teams, each consisting of four players, from all over New Zealand, with eight also having made the trip across from Australia. That is an improvement of two sides on the previous year in the annual tournament, which is now in its 113th edition. “We are delighted with the response we continue to receive from bowlers from all over the country, plus of course our Australian contingent which has been headed up expertly by Barry Sullivan for a number of years,” Bowls Taranaki chairman Brien Bennett said. “The tournament is very much alive.” All competing sides play two games of 25 ends each day and by the time qualifying finishes on Thursday evening, those combinations that have won six or more games advance to the post section rounds. The final is scheduled for Sunday afternoon. “The unique aspect of the tournament is that it caters for both the competitive and social bowler,” Bennett enthused. While last year’s winner, Ces Bell (Taradale), is not defending the title, the other three place-getters from last time have returned – Dan Delany (Royal Oak), Cary Pinker (Wanganui East) and New Zealand great Peter Belliss (Aramoho). Belliss recently finished second in the pairs at the national tournament in Dunedin. The field includes a host of other prominent visitors who are expected to do well including Brian Little (Palmerston North), Rex Holmes (Paraparaumu Beach), Ray Park (Wanganui) and Stu Settle (Hinuera). Palmerston North veteran Ian Jamieson will mark his 40th tournament by playing as a replacement in a Morrinsville RSA unit headed by stylish competitor Paul Bartosh. There are 75 Taranaki teams in the field, with the most appealing being the quartet skipped by West End’s Craig Johns. Johns’ side includes Jordan Linn, Dave Wilson and Steve Walker. Linn and Walker won the most recently completed Taranaki centre event, the Christmas pairs, beating Wilson and 2017 national singles winner Dean Elgar in the final. Work commitments unfortunately mean that Elgar will not play this week. Garry Murfitt and his West End side won the Inupak Trophy last year as the best-performed Taranaki team in making the quarterfinals. They illustrated in winning the centre fours in November that they should be a force once more. Other locals who could feature are Mark Anderson (Alton), Russell Hardy (Tower), Gary Lilley (West End) and Darren Goodin (Paritutu). The Taranaki women’s open fours follows the men’s event with 54 entries. It commences on January 23.

– Article courtesy of Grant Hassall, Taranaki Daily News, 15/01/18

Linn and Walker upstage clubmates to win Christmas pairs

West End’s Jordan Linn and Steve Walker turned in an excellent display of bowls to claim the Auto City-sponsored Taranaki men’s Christmas pairs at Fitzroy on 23/12/17. It was the fourth centre title for both players, who are in their eighth season respectively, and to achieve the victory, they beat arguably the two strongest pairs not only in their own club, West End, but also the Taranaki centre – defending champions John Roberts and Craig Johns in the semifinals, and Dave Wilson and Dean Elgar in the final. With Linn calling the tune off the front and Walker drawing well, the new champions had the luxury of winning the final without playing the last end, finishing with a 24-17 scoreline. Wilson and Elgar, who commences his Dominion singles defence on Friday, led 5-2 in the final. But a five shortly after gave Linn and Walker the advantage at 9-6. It was an impetuous they would not let go, even if at the two-thirds stage (14 of the scheduled 21 ends) Linn and Walker led by only a narrow three points at 15-12. The next three ends sealed the result, with Linn and Walker taking a three, a four and a brace to open up an unassailable 24-12 lead. Wilson and Elgar responded by taking the next three ends, but it was largely academic by then. In the semifinals, Linn and Walker were equally impressive in beating Roberts and Johns 20-12, while Wilson and Elgar broke free in the second half of their match against Sean Prinsloo and Mark Dudley (Hawera Park), winning 23-14.

Commane and Robinson take women’s pairs

Opunake’s Chris Commane and Bev Robinson have taken out the Taranaki women’s open pairs title for the season. The duo were commanding 24-12 winners over New Plymouth’s Faye Gecse and Maree Gadsby in the final of the Clegg’s Funeral Services-sponsored event at Stratford-Avon recently. It was Robinson’s 12th Taranaki title and a first for Commane to add to one from Wellington. After seven of the 21 ends, Commane and Robinson led 9-5. They then went on a scoring spree with a two, a two, a four, a further two and then a single. That made the score 20-5 after 12 ends, which effectively ended the contest. But Gecse and Gadsby, who were also runner-up in the champion-of-champions pairs two seasons ago, won the next four ends, reducing the score to 20-12 with five ends to play. But Commane and Robinson regained the imitative to prevail. In the semifinals, after leading by one shot, Robinson trailed the jack with on the last end to win 20-18 over New Plymouth’s Val McEldowney and Una Maha, while Gadsby beat Lorraine Crofskey and Loris Ropitini (Inglewood) 24-8.

West End prove too good in Taranaki men’s bowls interclub event

West End have run out comfortable winners of the Taranaki men’s bowls division one interclub event. The West End Blue side has headed home the 10-team field on 42 points, with Paritutu, the champions of the past four seasons, second on 34 and West End White third on 33. West End Blue’s powerful singles and pairs disciplines paved the way on Saturday for their victory at Stratford-Avon. Dean Elgar won his three games, to finish with eight wins from nine rounds, while the Taranaki representative duo of John Roberts and Craig Johns also won all three games. They finished with seven wins overall. John Sexton’s four, weakened on Saturday, concluded with five wins and two draws. Darren Goodin (Paritutu) had the distinction of winning all nine games of singles to be the best performed player in the event. Jordan Linn and Steve Walker (West End White) recorded seven wins and one draw in the pairs, while Wayne Hawkes and Bruce Hall (Vogeltown) had seven wins. The best of the fours combinations was the Alton quartet skipped by Mark Anderson that had six wins and one draw. Tower finished bottom of the ladder and have been relegated to the second division for next season. Their place in the top flight will be taken by Stratford-Avon, who defeated Paritutu 2-1 in the second division final at West End on Saturday. Despite Malcolm Hoskin losing to John Cottam in the singles, John Forde and Paul Digby took the pairs and John Sextus, Colin Jones, Maurie Stieller and Kevin Mischefski won the fours.

❑ Stratford-Avon hosts the Taranaki women’s open pairs this weekend, with the final scheduled for Monday. There are 40 teams in the event, including last year’s champions, Yvonne Hallard and Gale Fache (Vogeltown).

❑ Bowls Taranaki chairman Brien Bennett has announced that in response to the surge in first-year players this season, a Taranaki singles event for the newcomers will be held later in the season. “We are endeavouring to finalise a date, in either March or April. We have been delighted with the way many clubs have embraced the drive for new members, with more than 70 signed up so far this season.”

❑ Alton’s annual two-day classic was won this season by a composite South Taranaki side of Brendan Anderson, Clive Phillips, Mark Kuklinski and Scott Roberts. Alistair Hurley, Bruce Phillips, John Roberts and Mark Anderson were second, with the defending champions Alex McKay, Midge Shaw, Dennis Osborne and Garry Murfitt finishing third. Meanwhile, a large contingent of Taranaki teams competed in the popular Wanganui East women’s classic last week. Paritutu’s Cathy Andrews, Barbara Batley, Margie Davis and Val Keightley took out top prize, with third going to a Hawera Park side headed by Kristin Stampa.

❑ While entry numbers for this season’s Dominion, to be held in Dunedin, have yet to be released, when the draw becomes known there will be plenty of cynics rushing in with the reason why numbers are so small. Last season, the women’s fours was won by a virtual New Zealand side in Tayla Bruce, Kirsten Edwards, Val Smith and Jo Edwards. Among the men’s entries this season is a side comprising Justin Goodwin, Shannon McIlroy, Gary Lawson and Ali Forsyth, all past singles winners. We will be told that stacked composite sides is the reason why the club bowlers don’t attend the nationals anymore. But the majority of those club bowlers in the next breath will go and stack their own teams for club and centre events.

– Article courtesy of Grant Hassall, Taranaki Daily News, 04/12/17

Inglewood claim Taranaki women’s open triples bowls title

Inglewood’s Lorraine Crofskey, Loris Ropitini and Cindy Nicoll won the Taranaki women’s open triples bowls title at Hawera Park on Monday. The trio were too consistent in the final of the Abraham’s Funeral Home-sponsored event, defeating Paritutu’s Marlene McArthur, Marlene Barrowman and Heather Johns 23-15. The Nicoll-skipped side dominated the first half of the game, leading 17-6 after 12 ends. The margin was still comfortable three ends later, with Nicoll up 19-9. However, Johns’ side won the next three ends, reducing the deficit to six shots with three heads remaining. However, it was Inglewood’s day, and a brace on the next gave them some breathing space. Paritutu replied with a two, but it couldn’t find the maximum six on the final end to level the match. The victory was Crofskey’s third Taranaki title, Ropitini’s fourth and Nicoll’s second. In the semifinals, Nicoll overcame Hawera Park’s Ruth Vendt, Pauline Kennedy and Kristin Stampa 19-13, with Johns accounting for Vogeltown’s Val Webster, Yvonne Hallard and Gale Fache 19-12.

❑ West End have grabbed the initiative in the TSB Realty-sponsored men’s division one competition after a successful day on their own greens on Sunday. West End Blue lead the 10-team field with 27 points, three clear of West End White. Defending champions Paritutu share third spot with Inglewood, on 22, while Alton, 21, remain an outside chance with the final three rounds due to be played on Saturday at Stratford-Avon. Dean Elgar, the West End Blue singles player, recorded two further wins, to add to his three triumphs on the opening day. But he was beaten 25-13 by Darren Goodin, who remains the only player to have won all six games. After a forgettable first day, John Roberts and Craig Johns gave West End Blue three wins in the pairs, while John Sexton’s four had one win and one draw. West End white progressed into second place after Dave Wilson won all three on Sunday, Jordan Linn and Steve Walker added two more victories to their three from the opening day, and Garry Murfitt’s quartet also won twice. Inglewood, the leader from the first day, faulted winning only three from nine, two of those coming in the singles from Gerry O’Sullivan.

– Article courtesy of Grant Hassall, Taranaki Daily News, 27/11/17

Paritutu come from behind to win Taranaki women’s bowls division one interclub title

Paritutu have come from behind to win the Taranaki women’s bowls division one interclub title. After Ōpūnake had led the field into the final two rounds on Sunday, Paritutu levelled after winning five games from six and took the overall honours on differential. Both clubs finished the Vospers-sponsored event on 26 points, but from the seven rounds, Paritutu accumulated 31 net shots compared to Ōpūnake’s 12. A change in the player order worked a treat for Paritutu, which has twice previously won the New Zealand title, in 2005 and 2016. Cathy Andrews moved to the singles, winning both her games, as did the mother-and-daughter pair of Barbara Batley and Bridget Fletcher. Heather Johns’ four of Berys Norgate, Val Keightley and Gloria Shaw ended the event with six wins, as did Ōpūnake singles player Chris Commane. Meanwhile, West End took out the second division, finishing with 34 points, three clear of second-placed Fitzroy. With the victory, West End will be promoted into division one next season.

❑ Inglewood were the surprise leaders after the first three rounds were completed in the TSB Realty-sponsored men’s division one interclub for the Bill Smee Trophy at Vogeltown on Sunday. They have 16 points after winning eight matches from nine, while West End Blue (14) and Paritutu (12) round out the top three in the 10-team competition. Brothers Gerry and Danny O’Sullivan and Eric Foreman all picked up three wins for the leaders, with the singles and pairs duties split between the trio. World champion-of-champions runner-up Dean Elgar posted three wins for West End Blue, as did its four of Norm Broughton, Bruce Lilley, John Garrud and John Sexton. Paritutu, the champion of the past four years, continued to get great service from Darren Goodin in the singles, after he posted three wins.

❑ Tuesday is the second day’s play in the 54th Bacardi Cup men’s fours event at Fitzroy, with the finals scheduled to be held early on Wednesday afternoon. The tournament requires at least two members per side to have had a specific involvement in the hospitality sector and has drawn 28 teams from all over New Zealand. Included in the field is the Taieri terror, Charlie Burrell, who has remarkably played in all 53 prior tournaments, and Francis Monopoli (Nelson) who skipped the winning team 12 months ago. Four past New Zealand representatives – Ken Walker, Richard Collett, Glenn McDonald and Neville Hill – are also taking part along with another noted sporting identity, Alex Wyllie.

– Article courtesy of Grant Hassall, Taranaki Daily News, 20/11/17

Taranaki bowls team finds success in Wanganui

Wanganui proved a happy hunting ground for the Taranaki representative bowls teams on Saturday, with the province winning three of the four divisions in the quadrangular fixture. The senior Taranaki men won, as did the academy sides in both the men’s and women’s sections. Wanganui won the senior women’s event, with Taranaki third. In the senior men’s event, Revital Fertilisers Taranaki secured 20 points, being 10 wins from 15 games. Manawatu (18) were second, followed by Wanganui (14) and Wairarapa (8). The outstanding individual effort came from the experienced pair of John Roberts and Craig Johns. They beat Paul Manning, the 1995 Dominion pairs finalist, and Wairarapa’s finest, Ian Monaghan, 17-12, first up. Roberts and Johns then accounted for Scotty McGavin and Pat Horgan (Manawatu) 19-12 and Alan Dickson and Ray Park (Wanganui) 19-14. Darren Goodin had two wins in the singles, beating Shane Rogers (Manawatu) and Cary Pinker (Wanganui) but falling to Scott McKenzie (Wairarapa). The new fours combination of John Garrud, Steve Walker, Gerry O’Sullivan and Mark Anderson also won twice, as did the second pair of Jordan Linn and Scott Roberts. Ian Lowry had one win in the second singles. “It was one of the best all-round performances I’ve seen from a team,” selector Alex McKay concluded of the triumph on the slick Aramoho greens. The blustery conditions didn’t suit the senior women as well, with the head-and-tail wind knocking consistency. Wanganui (20) headed off Manawatu (16), Taranaki (15), which represented a 50% return, and Wairarapa (9). Chris Commane continued her excellent form combining with Val McEldowney to score a trifecta of wins in the second pairs. The four of Anne Duggan, Faye Gecse, Maree Gadsby and skip Gale Fache had one win and one draw, while the other three disciplines all had one win and two losses – singles players Rhonda Adams and Cathy Andrews and the first pair of Gloria Shaw and Kristin Stampa. The men’s academy side put on a fine performance, winning six and drawing two of its nine games, giving it 14 points. Wanganui was closest of the rest on 12. Kelly Hill was dominant in the singles, winning 25-6, 25-8 and 25-15, while the four of Brendan Anderson, Paddy Deegan, Robbie Brown and Danny O’Sullivan had two wins and one draw. Steve Sabine and Vini Purcell had one win and one draw in the pairs. Differential gave Taranaki the edge in the women’s academy section, after it and Manawatu were both locked on 10 points. Faye Hill, Jill Dyett, Leeanne Halls and Sharlene Healey were the pick of the Taranaki side, posting three wins. Bridget Fletcher and Susan Cottam won their first two before the former was swapped to the singles in the last round.

– Article courtesy of Grant Hassall, Taranaki Daily News, 19/11/17

Ōpūnake take two-point lead in Taranaki women’s interclub bowls

The Taranaki women’s division one interclub title remains wide open after five rounds were completed over the weekend. Ōpūnake lead the way having recorded 10 victories from 15 games which has them on 20 points – two clear of defending champions Tower. Paritutu Green and New Plymouth, who are both on 16, are both still very much in contention. The final two rounds will be played this Sunday at Stratford-Avon. Open singles runner-up Chris Commane and the pair of Nell L’Ami and the evergreen Joy Collins laid the foundation for Ōpūnake’s advantage, with both combinations finishing with four wins from five games. Tower’s best contribution came from its pair of Betty Fraser and Faye Hopkins which had four wins. Heather Johns’ Paritutu quartet of Berys Norgate, Val Keightley and Gloria Shaw were the only combination to record five-straight wins from the weekend. The other notable effort came from the Lepperton four of Carol Pearce, Jean Haggerty, June Ward and Ellie Goble. They had four wins. In the second division, West End holds a slender lead over Fitzroy ahead of the final two rounds at Tower this Sunday.

❑ The men’s interclub competition commences this Sunday. Paritutu are gunning for a fifth successive victory in the first division for the Bill Smee Trophy, but will expect strong opposition from two good West End sides, desperate to correct a seven-year hiatus, while Alton should also be competitive. The first division is at Hawera Park, with the second division at West End (amber) and Fitzroy (black), and the third division at Paritutu.

– Article courtesy of Grant Hassall, Taranaki Daily News, 14/11/17

Taranaki bowls team named

The Taranaki representative bowls sides to compete in Wanganui next Saturday have been released and both are impressive lineups. Joy Clouston’s women’s side sees Rhonda Adams and Cathy Andrews playing the singles, with Gloria Shaw and Kristin Stampa combining in one pair. Chris Commane and Val McEldowney are the second pair. The four is Anne Duggan, Faye Gecse, Maree Gadsby and skip Gale Fache. Like the men, the women will compete against Wanganui, Manawatu and Wairarapa. The academy team includes Sue Winter (singles), Bridget Fletcher and Susan Cottam (pairs), and Faye Hill, Jill Dyett, Leeanne Halls and Sharlene Healey (fours). The notable feature of the Revital Fertilisers men’s side is the absence of Dean Elgar. He declared his unavailability for this fixture prior to heading to Australia, where he performed with great distinction in making the world final. The two singles berths this time go to Darren Goodin and Ian Lowry. In a predictable squad, John Roberts and Craig Johns reunite in one pair, with youngsters Jordan Linn and Scott Roberts the other. The four comprises John Garrud, Steve Walker, Gerry O’Sullivan and skip Mark Anderson. The men’s academy side sees Kelly Hill (singles), Steve Sabine and Vini Purcell (pairs), and Brendan Anderson, Paddy Deegan, Robbie Brown and Danny O’Sullivan (fours).

* The Vospers-sponsored women’s interclub competition gets underway this weekend. The division one section plays at Tower on Saturday and Paritutu on Sunday, with the division two at Stratford-Avon on Saturday and West End on Sunday. Last year’s division one champions, Hawera, of course this time will play under the Tower banner.
Paritutu, last season’s division two winners, have two sides in the top flight.

* Barry Agnew’s sudden death on Thursday morning has denied the province of one of the biggest stalwarts of the game, an innovative thinker and one of it’s finest ever greenkeepers. Agnew actually started his bowls at Pihama, just over 40 years ago, but it was at Okato where he made his name. He was instrumental in making the Okato green regularly the best in Taranaki, and that expertise was widely used by many other clubs to their advantage. Agnew served on the Taranaki executive and was mindful of the need for change. The relatively new pennants competition was one such change he played a key role in. Agnew was also a very able player. At his peak, his forehand drive was without peer, he represented the province and also won a centre title in both Taranaki and Gisborne-East Coast.

– Article courtesy of Grant Hassall, Taranaki Daily News, 09/11/17

Elgar’s world bowls bid comes up short

Dean Elgar’s brave bid to become the world bowls champion has come up short – but only after a superb effort in making it to the final. Elgar, of New Plymouth’s West End club, turned on an outstanding display on Friday and Saturday to make the final of the world champion-of-champions singles at the St Johns Park, New South Wales. But Sunday’s final, against Australia’s Aaron Teys, was a step too far for Elgar, with Teys dominating the match to win 12-1, 8-4. “It was disappointing to go like that,” Elgar said shortly after the final. “Overall, I’ve played very well, but today I just couldn’t pick it. We had a lot of overnight rain and I thought it would have been heavier, but I kept going through the head.” After dropping a three but gaining a single from the first two ends, of nine scheduled, in the opening set, Elgar was in touch. But Teys then applied the pressure drawing consistently well and moving the jack around when Elgar held shots to win the remaining ends in the set. Elgar started the second set better, scoring a brace. But Teys won the next four ends with seven points to lead 7-2. Elgar pulled a single back and held a further shot on the seventh end but turned Teys bowl in for shot, which ended his chase. “If you had said to me two days ago ‘here is a silver medal’ I would have taken it,” Elgar said. “I had to play like yesterday but it wasn’t to be.” To make the final, Elgar won six-straight games. In section play on Thursday, he had a win, a loss and a win. That meant he needed three wins from as many games on Friday to make the top three of his pool. He did that with some class, including the scalp of the David Kingdom (Wales), who finished top of the pool and lost in the semifinals to Teys. That put Elgar into the last six. In the preliminary final on Saturday morning, Elgar beat Barry Kane (Ireland) 7-4, 7-7. He then accounted for Scotland’s Derek Oliver 10-5, 10-7 in an excellent display in the semifinals. Elgar’s invitation to the world event followed his victory in the New Zealand singles, which was held in New Plymouth in January.

– Article courtesy of Grant Hassall, Taranaki Daily News, 05/11/17

Murfitt survives late fightback to win open fours

Garry Murfitt’s quartet was able to withhold a late fightback from Jocky Bright’s side to claim the Taranaki men’s centre fours title in an all-West End final at Hawera Park on Saturday. Murfitt and his team won the final of the South Taranaki Club-sponsored event 17-16 after a titanic struggle. The first third of the 18-end game was relatively even, with Murfitt ahead 8-6 after six ends. But the Murfitt side of Steve Temperton, Alex McKay and Dennis Osborne dominated the middle of the match. With Temperton, a third year player who has just transferred from Hawera Park, leading well, Murfitt opened up a commanding 17-8 lead. But Bright and his team of Tony Penn, Jim Rowe and Bryce Koch fought to the end, winning the remaining six heads but it wasn’t quite enough. Murfitt led by two shots playing the last end. Temperton was handy, giving Murfitt the early advantage until Koch drew the shot. However, the necessary second shot didn’t come, giving Temperton his first Taranaki title, McKay and Murfitt their second each and Osborne his sixth. Murfitt was incredibly lucky to make the final, beating a Hawera Park four entered under Grant Mudgway and skipped by Kearin Pollard 20-19. Pollard led 19-10 with two ends remaining, before Murfitt took a five and a four to tie up the game. The West Enders completed the remarkable turnaround by winning the extra end. In the other semifinal, Bright’s team cruised home 20-7 over Rangi Hiroti, in what was the second-straight semifinal appearance for the Inglewood side.

– Article courtesy of Grant Hassall, Taranaki Daily News, 05/11/17

Cathy Andrews claims fifth Taranaki women’s singles bowls title

Paritutu’s Cathy Andrews has scored an unprecedented fifth victory in nine years in the Taranaki women’s open singles bowls event. Andrews, a former New Zealand representative, has now won 11 Taranaki titles and based on Sunday’s triumph, she still has plenty more shots left in her. In the final Andrews beat Opunake’s Chris Commane 21-12. While Commane opened with a brace in the final, a four to Andrews on the fourth end set the tone for the match. Commane scored on 10 of the 19 ends, but only two of the counts were more than one. Andrews, on the other hand, made the most of her opportunities, collecting two threes and a further four, as she opened up a 16-7 lead. It was too great a deficit for Commane to pull back. It had been a long day for Commane, with some drawn-out games meaning the final did not start until 5pm. In her semifinal against West End’s Susan Cottam, Commane prevailed 21-17. In the other semifinal, Andrews beat Fitzroy’s Rhonda Adams 21-14.

❑ Despite losing a round on Sunday, the men’s centre fours was still expected to be finalised this Saturday at Hawera Park. Only two rounds of post-section were completed after heavy rain in the middle of the day delayed play for two hours. By that point, a number of the leading skips had been eliminated. Grant Mudgway’s Hawera Park squad, which was skipped by Kearin Pollard on Sunday, are the only side through to the semifinals at this stage. They beat Mark Dudley’s Hawera Park team, which was entered under the name of Allan Hunt, 20-5 in the quarterfinals. The only other quarterfinal that has commenced is between two West End sides, Garry Murfitt and Ross Henderson, with the former leading 4-1 after four of the 18 ends. On the other side of the draw, the four quarterfinalists are Rodney Woods (Opunake), Rangi Hiroti (Inglewood), Jocky Bright (West End) and Kevin Hills (Alton). The latter’s side is skipped by Grant Anderson.

– Article courtesy of Grant Hassall, Taranaki Daily News, 30/10/17

Dean Elgar claims back-to-back Taranaki men’s singles bowls titles

West End’s Dean Elgar successfully defended his Taranaki men’s bowls singles title on his home green on Monday in a perfect dress rehearsal for the world champion-of-champions event next week. Elgar leaves for Sydney on Friday, with the world event commencing Monday October 30, and should he exhibit the same form he did over the long weekend, he has every chance of going deep into the competition. Elgar’s excellence as a singles player was clearly evident in the final as he ran out a comfortable 21-10 victor over John Roberts, who was representing Alton. In winning the first four ends, Elgar opened up a 6-0 lead, and while Roberts closed 8-6 behind, that was as good as it got for him. “I’m no singles player,” Roberts said afterwards. “I need others to carry me.” Elgar dominated the next four ends clinching 10 points to make it 18-6. Roberts hung in for a while, but Elgar was too good. “I’d love to take this green over to Sydney with me,” Elgar said. It was his fifth win in the tournament and his 11th Taranaki title in total. Both finalists came from behind in two quality semifinals. Elgar trailed Paritutu’s Darren Goodin 18-13 before a four brought him back into contention. At 20-all, Goodin drew right behind jack with his first bowl, before Elgar, after getting a slide, sat it through. Goodin in turn killed the end and, on the replay, Elgar lodged a front toucher to advance. Roberts was 19-14 down to West End’s Dave Wilson. But he sat through Wilson’s shot bowl for a full house and backed that up with a brace and a single to win 21-19.

– Article courtesy of Grant Hassall, Taranaki Daily News, 23/10/17

Bowls Taranaki hoping to attract new bowlers to the sport this season

Bowls Taranaki has started the new season by setting a goal of attracting 100 first year players for the new season. Chairman Brien Bennett QSM said it was a tough target to achieve, but that the centre and clubs had the resources to reach triple figures. “Last year we had 38 new bowlers. But we are determined to align more closely with the clubs to ensure our sport has a brighter future,” he said. “That has already started and this push is the first of what will become a number of initiatives or changes introduced by the Towards 2020 committee.” The Towards 2020 committee is largely made up of existing board members who have been tasked with ensuring bowls in Taranaki is in the correct shape by the year 2020. “It is an exciting time for the sport. I only wish I was 40 years younger.”

❑ Taranaki finished second and fourth respectively in the men’s and women’s sections of the central region junior representative hexagonal bowls fixture in Wanganui on 01/10/17. The men, with 21 points out of a possible 40, finished second to Wellington, who won with an emphatic 32. Bruce Lilley, Adyne Jack and Steve Muller were the best of the Taranaki players, each winning four games from five. The women, with 20 points, finished fourth as Hawke’s Bay claimed the title with 28 points. Jill Dyett, Hazel Schwartfeger, Lesley Te Awa, Gina McKenzie and Frances Busby all won three matches from five.

❑ Dean Elgar has started the new season in fine style by recently claiming the prestigious Paraparaumu Beach invitation pairs with Manawatu’s Craig Gush. They nosed out Maurice Symes, formerly of Hawera Park and now of Blenheim, and Simon Hitchcock 15-14 in the final. Following last season’s successes, Elgar steps up onto the international stage at the end of the month competing in the world champion-of-champions at the St Johns club in Sydney. He will play a gruelling 14 section matches, the first against English champion Simon Green, between October 30 and November 3, before the playoff matches follow. Elgar must make the top three in his pool of 15 to face off against the best three in the other group. The world event stated in 2003 and five New Zealanders – Ali Forsyth, Tony Grantham, Jan Khan, Jo Edwards and Sandra Keith – are past winners. Auckland’s Selina Goddard is one of 24 competitors in the women’s section this year.

– Article courtesy of Grant Hassall, Taranaki Daily News, 04/10/17

The Vic Blance School of Excellence held its first day for the latest inductees at Paritutu recently with a wide cross-section of players in attendance, all of whom have been identified as having the potential of playing at representative level. Among the presenters were sports physiologist Rachel Vaughan, Guy Honnor (Sport Taranaki) and former NZ coach John Murtagh. The next session will take place on November 15. Vic Blance School of Excellence for players for 2017/18: Steve Sabine, Robbie Brown, Danny O’Sullivan (Inglewood); Adam Collins, Steve Muller, Bob Anderson, Kurt Smith (Oakura); Adyne Jack, Steve Temperton, Trevor Simpson, Sue Winter, Susan Cottam, Jill Dyett (West End); Ryan Vincent, Bridget Fletcher, Gina McKenzie (Paritutu); Paddy Deegan (Opunake); Laurence Hori, Tobyn Hori (New Plymouth); Brendan Anderson (Alton); Hazel Schwartfeger (Hawera); Cheryl Sharrock, Anne Potaka (Lepperton); Leslie TeAwa (Fitzroy); Bari Oliver (Stratford-Avon).