Manawatu Lawn Bowls News 26 Feb.

Thanks to Tony for all the news from around the Lawn Bowls clubs in Manawatu…

“All the preparation our mens and womens representative sevens have put in will be put to the test on Sunday when the Intercentre play-offs are completed at Northern.

Many of the squad will have had a good final workout on the Saturday when the same region’s interclub teams play-off although the venue will be different at Palmerston North. Besides Manawatu the other Centres involved are Gisborne-East Coast, Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay.

Palmerston North represent Manawatu in both divisions of the mens Interclub and the Division one team looks particularly formidable. Chris Barrett played the singles in the Manawatu event but this time he will skip the four and Ross Ellery returns to play the individual discipline.

Northern is Manawatu’s representative in the womens first division and they are chock full of talented players who have been in form. It often comes down to singles and Feona Sayles will front for Northern. Both her and Ellery will back up in the same spot in the intercentre so they carry much responsibility.

The second division will see Takaro representing Manawatu women. They beat some handy teams to get where they are but the environment will really test their compatibility and resolve.

I expect the Manawatu women to be a real force on the Sunday but I am not so sure about the men’s side. The mens four and the pair have not played as combinations in the preparation matches and several players have it in their minds that they never compete as well at the Northern venue. Such thinking may suggest brittle temperaments on the big stage.

Four Northern players are in the womens seven and they are relishing the prospect of performing at home. The four has looked a very strong combination with three of that combination playing together in Centre events and at club level. Fran Frith the team’s skip has competed well outside the centre as well as has Sayles and pairs skip Sharon Sims has more international experience and success than any player in either gender.

Teams Are; Interclub, Men. Division One Palmerston North, Singles Ross Ellery; Pairs Pat Horgan (s) and Graeme Cooley: Fours Chris Barrett (s), Brian Little, Steve Toms and Eric Watson. Division Two Palmerston North, Singles Dean Gilshnan, Pairs Don Cooley (s) and Ted Hodgson; Fours Eric Cairncross (s), Crellan Hooper, Alan Morley and Gerry Firth. Women Division One, Northern. Singles Feona Sayles; pairs Sharon Sims (s) and Noeleen Elston; Fours Viv Lozell (s), Anna Davis, Christine Quinn and Sue Meyer. Division Two, Takaro. Singles Patricia Hanson; Pairs Betty Parker (s) and Margaret Hefferen; Fours Tania McKay (s), Tania Harris, Sue Scott and Michele Welsh. Intercentre Men; Singles Ellery; Pairs Horgan (s) and Shane Rogers; Fours Phillip Skoglund, Barrett, Barry Wynks and Lawrie Gordon. Women, singles Sayles, Pairs Sims (s) and Quinn; Fours Fran Frith (s), Sheryn Blake, Mere Fryer and Georgie Kahui-Rogers.

• A grand performance from Himitangi Beach 15 year old Sophie Fisher saw her win the regional girls Kittyhawk (under 20) elimination at Wanganui last weekend. The final of the tournament will be played at Auckland over Easter and with the top four going through Fisher will be joined by Kaitlin Thompson of Hokowhitu who finished third.

• Some time back I set out on a project to recreate the Manawatu Centre’s Mens senior title records and the project is nearing completion. Records were apparently lost at the amalgamation of the mens and womens centre. I have visited most clubs to inspect their honours boards and certificates and talked to many bowlers. Entries I don’t have are the 2000/01 Champion of champion pairs, The four seasons from 1998/99 to 2001/02 for champion of champion triples and the 2003/04 champion of champion fours. One Club I haven’t been to is Dannevirke and I suspect they were involved in some of the missing entries. In Centre Open titles I am only missing the 1999/00 pairs and the 2001/02 singles. I would appreciate any assistance to complete the gaps. It may even be you were runners-up and will be able to recall who beat you. Once complete I hope to produce the complete record for clubs.

• A big day for Terrace End last Saturday with their representatives Bev Budd and Shane Rogers taking both senior champion of champion titles. What more can be said about Bev’s record. She wouldn’t want to be hit by lightning when wearing the “bars” from all her title wins!

• Don’t forget your entry for the Hospice tournament on 10 March. Last time I was talking to organiser Barry Gush there were still a few spots available and he is still seeking donations for his giant raffle and auction.

Email news to tony.jensen@aon.co.nz

TONY JENSEN”

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