West End’s John Roberts and Craig De Faria have taken out the Auto City-sponsored Taranaki men’s Christmas pairs title.

The duo produced a strong finish over the closing ends of the final to deny a gallant Fitzroy duo of Jason Hazard and Grant Pease 20-16 on Saturday evening at Paritutu.

In a match that was close throughout, Hazard and Pease held a 16-12 lead with four of the 18 ends remaining.

De Faria converted the 15th head, taking out the two counting Fitzroy bowls to score a single. Roberts set up the next well with a front toucher. De Faria added three with more on a tightly-compacted head, with West End grabbing a five to take the lead.

Roberts set up the 17th end superbly, and while Pease reduced the count to just one, a three-shot difference on the last was always going to be tough.

Hazard gave Fitzroy every chance when he drew two close, but De Faria with his second bowl trailed the jack for shot, which sealed the result.

It was the 26th Taranaki title for both Roberts and De Faria.

In the earlier semifinals, Roberts and De Faria beat clubmates Bruce Hall and Dean Elgar 22-9, while Hazard and Pease were 18-8 victors over Paritutu’s Ian Andrews and Adam Collins.

Meanwhile, in the women’s Andersons Pies open pairs, the last four teams have been found. The final matches will be played on Sunday at Tower, with Opunake’s Rita Davey and Pauline Davy playing Paritutu’s Briar Atkinson and Tina Atkinson-Watt in one semifinal. The other semi is between West End’s Susan Cottam and Trish Howard against Faye Gecse and Maree Gadsby.