The furrowed brow I witnessed on the face of Manawatu Representative Bowls selector Terry Puklowski’s face on Sunday was very likely caused by the news that Palmerston North men were unable to win a game in division one interclub last Saturday.
Palmerston North usually provide half the Manawatu men’s team and with the annual Arnott Duckett event against Taranaki and Wanganui being played on Saturday 15 November the form of players competing at this level is vital and there are no events being played this coming weekend that will provide the necessary level of competition. Hopefully the adage that class is permanent and form is temporary will apply. The teams for the tournament are: Senior (green) Singles, Brian Looker; Pairs, Stephen Love (s) and Graeme Cooley; Fours Pat Horgan (s), Mark Noble, Darryl Johnson and Dean Gilshnan; (white) Singles Chris Barrett, Pairs Barry Wynks and Scotty McGavin; Fours Brian Little, Steve Toms, Grant Davis and Terry Rossiter: (development) Mike Hodge, Keith Hughes, Colin Cherri, Graham Black, Mike Abraham, Harry Mills, Chance Haussman and Eion McIntosh.
After day one of interclub there are five clubs even on eight points being Northern, Terrace End, Aramaho, Durie Hill and Wanganui East followed by Takaro, Marton and Wanganui on four and Palmerston North failing to worry the scorers. There are five rounds to go of course and anything could happen yet but I suspect we will see a few more surprises.
After making an ageist jibe at the Palmerston North women in this column last week they took the remark right to heart and came out blazing to lead the women’s competition on nine points, closely followed by Northern and Wanganui East on eight, Johnston Park six, Laird Park five while Marton, Terrace End and Wanganui are all on four each. A tight looking competition. When the Palmerston North ladies bake me a humble pie please remember my favourite flavour is mince and cheese!
• No results have been provided for division two interclub which also proceeds to a National title but I have to say I have a large bouquet and an equally sized brickbat for Palmerston North which hosted the men’s event. A bouquet for producing two greens of absolutely outstanding quality and I don’t believe I have ever played on a better surface than what we struck. The “greenkeeper” is the most maligned person in bowls and it is always his fault when someone plays poorly. Well we got a bath from Northern in one game but the rink was superb. Ken Murray has no peer in his profession.
The brickbat was the club’s failure to provide markers for the singles which was a poor show. If they had a problem the time to resolve it was the night before and not leave it to chance on the morning. The information sheet that went to clubs on 15th October was very clear in the requirement for four markers. Not much to ask of a club of 159 members. I suspect we won’t encounter the problem at the smaller clubs who pride themselves on their hospitality.
• Philip Skoglund jnr is unavailable for the Manawatu team currently but is in great form all the same. At the weekend he made the final of the prestigious North East Valley singles only to bow to Ali Forsyth the dual NZ singles champion 25-16 after a slow start. In such form he will be useful later in the season.
• Events that hold a real mystique for us mere males are the women’s galas which always seem to draw big fields and are great money spinners for the clubs. The cross club support they receive is a lesson for us all. Galas coming up are Terrace End 18 November, Ashhurst 27 November and Johnston Park 9th December.