Thanks to Tony for providing us with all the Lawn Bowls news from around Manawatu…
“Interclub has been and gone for another season and interest will no doubt focus now on the regional finals to be held in Palmerston North in early March as our clubs fight for the right to represent the region at the National finals later that same month.
With two teams from its Club winning through to the regionals I suspect Palmerston North will be anxious to offer their greens to host the tournament. Both first and second division men’s teams from Palmerston North won through at the weekend and I would expect the division one team potentially has the ability to go on and win the National title. With the bulk of the representative team in it’s lineup in the form of Pat Horgan, Ross Ellery, Chris Barrett, Graham Cooley and Steve Toms the balance and versatility of the seven is such that they will present as formidable opposition to any other club.
Northern will be super competitive also in the division one womens event and the international experience of Sharon Sims coupled with Feona Sayles efforts on the national stage gives them a look of solidarity that will be an essential element at that level.
The team that many are talking about is Takaro’s second division winning womens team and just how good they are is being speculated. They are predominately younger and fearless and they saw off two handy looking sides in Northern and Johnston Park to get where they have. They will come up against far more experienced teams but having discovered how to win and the confidence that builds they will take some beating.
Before leaving Interclub, hats off to Himitangi Beach for taking out the men’s third division. A real minnow among the clubs they took on and defeated Northern in their final. One pairs game was won convincingly 20-4 but the second pair and triple with scores of 17-16 and 15-17 were cliffhangers.
• Three singles exponents took the eye around the interclub venues and Dean Gilshnan from Palmerston North and Tim White (Johnston Park) played a cracking second division final that marked them both as real talents. Gilshnan who has had tremendous success nationally in the indoor version of the game but is in only his second season of lawn bowls won the encounter 25-24 in a game that captivated the large crowd gathered. At 24-21 White nearly took the match out on the penultimate end when he was millimetres short with his last bowl. A measure all round saw White concede a four on the last end. White is only 20 and while he has been playing since he was 12 his transfer from Burnside will add to the development talent pool in the Manawatu.
Patricia Hansen from the Takaro women’s team is another not long in the area having moved from Rotorua and she has a tremendous temperament. She is profoundly deaf but it did not seem to inhibit her play in any way.
• Finals of the national club pairs and triples centre events will be played at Palmerston North on Sunday commencing with pairs at 9-00 and followed by the triples. Clayton Simpson from Terrace End is in both finals so they cannot be played concurrently. Simpson is seeking his first Centre title and in the pairs he is joined by Shane Rogers who needs the win for his gold star. Simpson will then join Brian Looker and Alistair Anderson to take on a trio from Palmerston North who are all in search of the elusive win for a Gold star. Bob Williams, Brian Henn and Paul Rowe are all bowlers who possess a great team ethic and they will have a large gathering of home supporters.
Phillip Sloglund and Cameron Nairne will have ideas of spoiling the pairs party for Terrace End and both games will come down to who leads best.
• A team that lined out in Skoglund Triples for Hokowhitu a few weeks back is worthy of special comment. Bob Dilks 94, Pat Hickton 90 and Jack Nisbett a mere baby at 85 would take all sorts of beating for the oldest competitive sporting team anywhere.
• Northern and Palmerston North both have excellent websites where you can keep track of club championships and other items of interest. Later in the season when champion of champions come round it’s already lining up as familiar faces. Ray Lovie skipped Harry Mills, Des Meyer and Grant Davis to win the Northern mens fours and their womens combination of Sharon Sims, Sue Meyer, Joan Smith and Pat Baker has a very familiar look about it. Across town Ross Ellery won the singles at Palmerston North to reassert his credentials in the four bowl game.
• For those who don’t know the Executive of Bowls Manawatu have confirmed me as President following Maggie May’s passing. Brian Looker has stepped up to vice-president and David Gibb from Terrace End, a very able administrator has also joined us.
• The season is nearly half over and has been eventful. Keep emailing the news to firstname.lastname@example.org “