Manawatu Bowls News – 11th Feb

Thanks to Tony for the latest news from around Bowls in Manawatu…

“It was a hectic last week for bowls in the Manawatu but the real highlight for me had little to do with matters played out on a green.

I refer of course to Northern’s fundraising tournament for Arohanui Hospice last Saturday and the $6000 mark was passed for the first time. It does the heart good to see Clubs banding together for a common cause and while there is a bowling tournament attached to the day it was very much secondary. For the record Ray Lovie’s team won the trophy which was quite fitting as his father passed away in Wellington’s Te Omanga Hospice very recently.

I must commend overall convenor Barry Gush and all Northern’s members for their efforts in preparing and hosting the day. Barry has “retired” from the role several times only to be drawn back each time.

Another Club which needs commending is Palmerston North who during the week ran their fantastically successful “Golden Oldies” mens tournament which drew a capacity field of 80 once again. Every aspect of the tournament goes like clockwork and visitors rate it as their season highlight. Open to over sixties, the tournament always attracts new entrants once they reach the big 60 but a few players always exit at the top end as well. Takaro runs a shortened version for women in tandem which complements the men’s tournament well.

Top competitive bowls was back in the limelight on Sunday however with the playing of Champion of Champion fours for both genders. Both tournaments are down to finals which will be played at Terrace End this Sunday along with the triples finals provided weather does not interfere with the first day on Saturday.

Almost predictably the men’s fours final will be between Palmerston North (Pat Horgan, Chris Barrett, Wayne Mouldey and Eric Watson) and Takaro (Barry Wynks, Terry Rossiter, Lawrie Gordon and Terry Curtis) but not before Takaro had a near thing against Bulls in their semi-final and Palmerston North had a fiercely contested match against Johnston Park. Wynks trailed by four going into the last end but his team drew five shots to secure an unlikely win.

The women’s final will be between Hokowhitu and Bulls which continues excellent performances for both these clubs in champion of champion events over the last two seasons.

• Regional national club championship eliminations were also held during the week and it was lean pickings for Manawatu overall. Terrace End women and Palmerston North men both won through in the fours and now are faced with having to fund their travel to the national finals at Invercargill in April. With the blessing of the Centre a fundraising triples tournament has been organised at Terrace End on Easter Monday 9 April (9-30 start) and it warrants support from clubs. Entries to Terrace End and it will be opened up to your social and mates in bowls players who may like a taste of the competitive game. See you there.

• I have had reports of successful tournaments at Woodville and Hokowhitu recently and there are several on this week. Johnston Park are still seeking entries for their any gender triples on Friday.

• The Manawatu Masters (over 60) Representative team will play itKs annual tournament with Wellington, Hutt Valley, Kapiti, Wanganui and Wairarapa at Palmerston North next Monday and Tuesday and their are some great names from the past competing. Jim Madden and Lou Cancian from Hutt Valley, Lou Newman, John Earles and Howard Ivory from Wellington and our own Phil Skoglund are among the more prominent. The Manawatu team is; Singles Terry Puklowski, Pairs Phil Skoglund (s) and Brian Henn, Triples Barry Evans (s), Clark Norris and Derek McKee, Fours Tony Jensen (s), Keith Walker, Ron Henn and Gerry Firth.

• Thanks to some excellent assistance from that student of the game Grant Hassell of Taranaki I now only have one gap in rebuilding the Centre’s men’s title record. The one omission is the 2001/02 champion of champion triples. The previous year’s (2000/01) winners were Gavin Harrison, Bill Tottenham and Ron Abraham from Foxton Beach. In the succeeding year (2002/03) Eric Dixon, Jim Burt and Neil Gordon from Hokowhitu scored the first of two consecutive wins. Hopefully those details will jog the memory of someone who can complete the gap and I can publish the records.

Tony Jensen