Taranaki men’s accuracy not so hot – Bowls Nationals

Thanks to Grant Hassall and the Taranaki Daily News for the latest Lawn Bowls news from Auckland…

“The rain that had been forecast did not come, but breezy conditions made play difficult at the New Zealand bowls championships in Auckland yesterday.

The Taranaki men lacked the accuracy they had on the opening day but three pairs still grabbed the required four wins to advance to the post section on Saturday.

On the first day of the women’s pairs’ qualifying, six of the seven Taranaki combinations posted two wins. The odd ones out were Trish Howard (West End) and Nellie Hewson (Lepperton), who managed only one victory.

In the men’s, Dean Elgar (Vogeltown) and Craig Johns (West End) confirmed themselves as Taranaki’s best chance. They scored a 21-14 win first off to qualify.

In the fifth round they were joined by Paritutu’s Brian Kjestrup and Alan Batley who, after being nosed out by the tidy John Flowers (St Heliers) 18-17, cruised home 22-6 over William Oliver (Homai).

In the sixth round, after two losses earlier in the day, Paritutu’s Ian Andrews and Don Christensen won 23-13. Andrews and Christensen had lost to West End’s John Garrud and David Bennett 20-11, and to Lou Newman (Victoria) 22-8.

The fourth-round win was the third for Garrud and Bennett but, disappointingly, that was their lot. Losses in the final two rounds eliminated them, so they joined Gordon Brown and Dave McClean, who lost in round four.

Tomorrow’s post section promises some high-class action, with 84 qualifiers, including all the big names. Petar Sain, Raika Gregory, Jamie Hill and Rob Ashton all needed the final round to get through though.

Four of Taranaki’s seven pairs in the women’s field lost their first game but won the next two. Those pairings were Margie Carey (New Plymouth) and Eileen Rothwell (Opunake), Paritutu’s Carolyn Harris and Gloria Shaw, New Plymouth’s Elaine Hodge and Val McEldowney, and Kath Brown (New Plymouth) and Gale Fache (Vogeltown).

A further quirk in the draw saw Carey and Rothwell beat Howard and Hewson in one game.

Fitzroy’s Denise Cottam and Janice Ropitini were tripped up in round two, but won the others, while Paritutu’s Debbie Smith and Cathy Andrews lost in round three after two big wins. Two more wins will allow them to qualify today.

Anne Bateman (Kensington) is the biggest name struggling, after only one win. Big names on two wins include Dale Lang, Ann Muir, Jan Shirley, Kaaren Guilford and Mandy Boyd.

The men have singles section play today, weather permitting.”

Congrats also to Adam Johnson (Northern BC) who qualified in the men’s pairs, and also Robin Schischka, and Feona Sayles for qualifying in the Womens Singles.

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