Opunake’s Rita Davey and Paddy Deegan are through to the semifinals of the Taranaki mixed pairs after a nailbiting conclusion at Okato on Sunday evening.
The duo were locked in a tense encounter with West End’s Sue Winter and Steve Walker in the quarterfinals of the Cross Country Rentals-sponsored event.
The West End pair, who won the event two seasons ago and were runners-up last year, led 16-13 at the commencement of the penultimate end.
Davey and Deegan scored a three and then took a single on the last end to sneak through. It completed a great day’s play for the Opunake combination. In the previous round, they had ousted West End’s Craig De Faria and Paritutu’s Jackie Moeahu 12-9.
The event will be finalised this coming Saturday at Okato, with Davey and Deegan due to meet Paritutu’s Darren Goodin and Barbara Batley in the semifinals.
Goodin and Batley advanced through their quarterfinal 23-8 over clubmates Kevin and June Gledhill, who at least had the satisfaction of being the married couple to go the furthest.
But Goodin and Batley had to work overtime to win their second round match, 15-13, over the 2018 champions, Steve Sabine and Cindy Nicoll (Inglewood).
The other two semifinalists are Paritutu’s Don Christensen and Cheryll Sharrock and Hawera Park’s Kristin Stampa and West End’s Grant Hassall.
Playing at Oakura, Christensen and Sharrock were particularly impressive. They powered away to two massive wins in the opening rounds – 22-4 and 23-2 – before edging out Okato’s Val McEldowney and Hamish Kape 12-10 in a tight quarterfinal which featured a number of immaculate heads.
Stampa, too, was in excellent touch as she controlled her pair through to a 15-11 victory in the last eight over Paritutu’s Steve Cottam and Gloria Shaw, albeit aided with the rub of the green.