West End’s Dean Elgar collected his official 15th Taranaki title in emphatic fashion on Monday.
Elgar withstood a tough and a long day to claim his sixth Taranaki men’s open singles crown, beating Okato’s Hamish Kape 21-10 in the final at West End.
Elgar put on an excellent display, dominating the majority of the final of the Janko Computers-sponsored event and showing that the 2017 Dominion singles winner remains a top talent.
The victory enabled Elgar to be awarded a second bar to his gold star for 15 titles. Elgar’s 15 Taranaki titles were accumulated in the open singles (2003, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2022), Christmas pairs (2013, 2019), open triples (2015, 2021), champion-of-champions singles (2010, 2015, 2019), champion-of-champions triples (2017) and champion-of-champions fours (2011).Three earlier mixed pairs events pre-amalgamation do not count. In addition, Elgar has also won the Bill Smee twice, the NZ intercentre, the Dominion fours (2019) and a Manawatu Superbowls.
In the final, Elgar jumped out to a 6-1 lead and after nine ends that had become 15-4.
Kape rallied, closing to 16-10 in arrears, before Elgar took two singles and a three to wrap up the title.
Both earlier semifinals were one-sided, with Elgar beating Bruce Phillips (Patea) 21-8 and Kape defeating Dave Wilson (West End) 21-9.
After 34 players had qualified by lunchtime on Sunday, Elgar received the roughest end of the draw and needed to win six games in post section.
Of the four games he played on Monday, his quarterfinal against Daryl Read (Paritutu) was his trickiest, Elgar coming from 20-15 down to emerge a 21-20 victor.
Meanwhile, New Plymouth’s Val McEldowney won the Jean Sandel-sponsored Taranaki women’s open singles which was also finalised on Monday at West End.
It was McEldowney’s second victory in the singles and she now has 14 Taranaki titles in total.
She beat clubmate Margy Carey 21-17 in the decider.
While Carey did hold the edge in the opening third of the match, leading 7-5, the next stanza was dominated by McEldowney. The 2013 Dominion singles winner drew more consistently to create a 19-11 lead.
However, Carey then produced her best bowls of the final, taking the next four ends to close up the game at 19-17. But McEldowney drew two shots on the next to conclude the contest.
Carey was especially impressive in the semifinals, ousting Kristin Stampa (Hawera Park) 21-8, while McEldowney had a ding-dong clash with Cathy Andrews (Paritutu), prevailing 21-18.
Two post section rounds on Sunday afternoon at Paritutu had whittled the 14 qualifiers down to the semifinalists.