Thanks to Tony Jensen for his latest news from around Lawn Bowls in Manawatu…
“Manawatu’s senior representative season commenced at the weekend and our women were impressive in beating Taranaki 11-9 at Northern in a seesaw days play.
Six pairs combinations lined up and with three games won by each team it was down to the triples matches to decide the event. Fran Frith’s team managed a 16-16 draw to add to Manawatu’s other two wins to give the home team a narrow advantage. Impressive in the pairs were Frith and lead Chris Quinn as well as Sharon Sims and Jacinta Cousins.
The women’s development team had quite a new look about it and while losing 8-12 they are likely to be more competitive when the team is pared to seven.
It was a different story in Taranaki where both the men’s senior and development teams were totally outclassed by the hosts in the Arnott and Duckett trophies.
In the senior event Taranaki won 15 of their 20 matches and took the Arnott Shield with 30 points followed by Wanganui on 21 and Manawatu languishing on nine points. Reports from Taranaki suggest little respect for or pride in the Manawatu shirt was demonstrated by several members of the team. It is a far cry from the halcyon days of 2009 and 2010 when Manawatu won the national Intercentre. Only one match was won on the Sunday which may confirm reports of overnight incidents I have received from Taranaki hold credence.
In the development event it was placings the same with Taranaki on 27, Wanganui 21 and Manawatu’s 15 being a little better performance than the seniors.
• Bowls lost a great supporter with the death recently of Fred Williams. Fred was a handy bowler in his own right but was better known as President of both the Manawatu Men’s Centre and more latterly the Umpires Association for an extended period. Fred was also on the Umpires tutorial panel where he assisted many bowlers new to umpire duties. He was generally of good humour but Fred was never afraid to state the case exactly as he saw it when the occasion arose and the message would be hard to misinterpret! We will miss his bustling style around the greens and I am sure the sympathy of all bowlers goes to his family.
• Three Manawatu women bowlers, Feona Sayles, Fran Frith and Ngaire Cowen, played outstandingly at the New Zealand Open in Auckland to reach the last eight of the singles. The event is elite in nature with the New Zealand selectors selecting players to compete and other players having to first play in a qualifying event. Frith was eliminated by Black Jack Mandy Boyd but with a final score of 21-20 the match was anyone’s to the last bowl.
Cowen was similarly in a very tight quarter-final where she was also right in it till the final end against Karen Hema before losing 21-19 in one of the best performances of her career. Sayles was up against Jan Khan in her last eight game and once again a close 21-17 scoreline saw the long serving New Zealand player reach the semi-final. But for seven shots Manawatu could have had three of the last four but very meritorious performances all the same.
Cowen and Frith also qualified in pairs and triples and Sayles also made it through to post section in the triples.
• Jo Edwards from Nelson won the world singles champion of champions during the week in Hong Kong. It was only six months ago she won the World Cup singles at Warilla in Australia. She has clearly pronounced herself to be the world’s best woman bowler and I doubt there are many men who could compete with her. It is always folly to compare sportspeople of different era and gender but there is no doubt whatsoever she ranks as an all time great of the game. Her husband Dave is the New Zealand coach so “pillow talk” would be interesting to eavesdrop on!
• One of Manawatu Bowls former players Trevor Tuatara is playing in the Kapiti Centre out of the Levin Club and distinguished himself recently by finishing runner-up in the Centre’s Open singles. He went down 21-17 in the final to Bill Moran from Central Levin.
• With nothing on in the Centre I took the opportunity to visit Kapiti myself at the weekend for their Open Pairs. Terry Puklowski and I played at Paraparaumu Beach and Raumati South, two excellent greens under the watch of Ian Mahoney who now has a considerable number of greens under his consultancy. For the record Maoran eliminated us in the last eight.
• Interclub commences on election day and I will have a previrw later in the week.
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