New Bowls Manawatu Board

Tony Woodley was voted in as the new President of Bowls Manawatu at todays AGM. Best Wishes to Tony for the upcoming year.

Tony took over from Phil Skoglund who had two years as President. A big thank you must be given to Phil for his work over the last two years, a feature being the successful partnership with Specsavers.

Joining Tony on the board will be Steve Toms as vice president. Newly elected members of the board are Eric Cairncross, Les Webster and Ross Martin. Returning Members were Viv Lozell, Coral Wing & Norah Bacon.

Bowls Manawatu Board 2014/15
President: Tony Woodley
Vice President: Steve Toms
Secretary/Manager: Vern Sixtus
Board: Eric Cairncross, Les Webster, Ross Martin, Norah Bacon, Viv Lozell, Coral Wing.

A feature of the new season will be the return to Open Tournaments as the qualifying for Pathways.


Palmerston North Four to compete at Nationals

The winning fours team of Pat Horgan, Clayton Simpson, Dean Gilshnan and Mike Abraham from Palmerston North will be contesting the National Club Champs in Dunedin. Lining up against teams from North Harbour, Taranaki, Nelson and Otago, they have a good chance of doing well. Also competing in Dunedin is Bev Budd in the Women’s Singles, she will be up against young gun Tayla Bruce, as well as players from North Harbour, Wanganui & Central Otago. Both Bev and the boys from Palmy will have a bye as only 5 teams/players have entered.

The tournament starts with the Mixed Pairs and runs from the 21st to the 28th of June. Good luck to those competing.

Bowls NZ have published the following programme.

Club Champs & Mxd Pairs Programme

Bowls Manawatu AGM to be held at PNBC Club

Notice: Bowls Manawatu Inc. Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of Bowls Manawatu Incorporated will be held in the Palmerston North Bowling Club Main Lounge on Sunday 27 July 2014 commencing at 1.00 pm.

Notices of Motion:

Any notice of motion from the Centre Board or from a Club must be received by the Centre Secretary by Tuesday 17 June 2014 in order to be considered at that meeting, unless otherwise agreed by the Centre Board. Every notice of motion from a Club must be signed by the Club President or the Club Secretary.

President, Vice-President, Patron and Board Members:

A President, Vice-President and up to 7 Board Members of the Centre shall be elected at each AGM. Nominations must be lodged with the Centre Secretary by Tuesday 17 June 2014. Nominations shall: be in writing; be signed by the Club President and Club Secretary of the nominating Club; contain the consent of the nominee and contain the nominee’s full postal address.

Comment on Bowls – 10th March

The Bowls Napier greens are the scene this week of six consecutive days of regional eliminations under the ‘pathways’ concept. At time of writing, Manawatu has already had significant success. The top Men’s Interclub side from Northern and the ‘B Grade’ Women’s team from the same club both earned a spot in the National Interclub finals weekend to be held in Palmerston North later this month. A journey to the deep South awaits Pat Horgan’s Palmerston North Men’s Four who will try for a National Club title at the Dunedin indoor complex in June. Further aspirants for Dunedin will hopefully emerge as the week progresses. While congratulating our successful players, several background aspects of the competition are points of discussion. Firstly, our ‘pathways’ players will face major hurdles to surmount in their pursuit of national glory because match play on artificial indoor surfaces is not available locally. The Heretaunga complex in Hastings the only one that is not located far from the Manawatu. It’s also acknowledged that the region in which Manawatu competes is not one of New Zealand’s strongest, meaning that most of their opponents will have battled through a potentially tougher field to earn their place. The ‘pathways’ concept was designed to give all players the chance to play their way to a national title without the expense of attending the traditional Nationals held in the post-Christmas period. It’s not quite that simple though, with endless debate about the costs of this system and consequently the best dates and venues to use from an economical point of view. Long gone are the halcyon days when money was poured liberally into the sport by a certain cigarette company, whose representatives would even dispense their product cost- free around the greens during top competition! The status of the ultimate champions is also under debate. From the outset, winners have earned a full national title and a point towards a potential Gold Star, but Gary Lawson and others have championed the argument that ‘pathways’ titles should not be recognised equally with the traditional tournament ones. Putting all that aside, local bowlers will be right behind our representatives who, in the Horgan team’s case anyway, sneaked through on countback by the narrowest of margins. This is not uncommon where only four teams are involved in a cut-throat competition which almost requires a mathematician on the bank to keep up with the constantly changing match differentials that often make all the difference at the end.
There was also a need for accurate maths last week in the engine room of the Palmerston North club’s 30th Golden Oldies tournament. In this case though, Centre Secretary Vern Sixtus and his trusty laptop computer ensured that results were dealt with accurately and speedily. There was a suggestion at one point that a certain former national president who was officiating at the Terrace End greens may have made an error! A speedy return journey to headquarters to locate the relevant scorecard proved that the error in fact lay with the skips, who had signed a card showing the reverse of the correct result. This incident underlined the responsibility of the players to keep accurate records in an event where often only the finest of margins separate the competitors and thus can make the difference when it comes to the prize money. This tournament is the biggest run by a club in the country, proving that there must be several keys to its ongoing success. One is the distribution of prize money, which is well stratified, avoiding the temptation to put too much emphasis on a large purse for the ‘A’ Section. Levin’s Ian Mahoney played impressively to wrap up his second title in three years, this time with a radically altered team featuring the addition of two former Manawatu players in David Walker and ‘the Lizard’, a.k.a. Trevor Tuatara.

Denis Duffy

Bowls Comment by Denis Duffy

As Bowls followers battled the horrendous gales to locate a worthwhile spectacle last weekend, probably very few thought to stop off at the abandoned top green at Takaro. If they had, they would have observed our Commonwealth Games players, Barry Wynks and Mark Noble, hard at work for hours on end as they gradually master the skills they will require. A very different mindset, backed up by distinctly different skills, is required to be competitive on the rough, lead-heavy and at times under-prepared greens that most countries in the world strangely choose to play on. It was encouraging to hear that Mark and Barry were joined at the weekend by Wellington’s Lisa White, a member of our Women’s Team, who was in the squad that journeyed to Glasgow to experience the foreign conditions in recent months. Sharon Sims is also giving generously of her time and ‘knowhow’. To be able to tap into the experience of a local player who has managed to earn medals in top Northern Hemisphere competition must be a big advantage. Centre President Phil Skoglund battled greens like these at Edmonton in 1978, leading to his biographer later being threatened with a libel suit for honestly reporting his opinion of the local surfaces! It’s comical now to read in ‘Mr Bowls’, the biography of Phil’s uncle T.T. Skoglund, how this country sent a team in total ignorance and completely unprepared to the Vancouver Empire Games of 1954. New Zealanders played on lightning-fast grass greens in those days, and our team were totally bewildered to find themselves competing on vast swards composed of something vaguely resembling buffalo grass.

The major fixtures of the weekend were of course the Hexagonal for Men and Women, which was endorsed by players and officials and will be continued into the future. The performance of both our teams was simply outstanding. The Women proved themselves equal to the powerful Wellington side and the Men just got home ahead of Wanganui, while both left the other four Centres battling for the minor places. The Men’s Singles players, Shane Rogers and Darryl Johnson, must deserve special mention for their lion-hearted exhibitions of skill and tenacity in seriously adverse conditions, finishing with a scarcely believable nine wins and a narrow loss from ten starts. Darryl’s immaculate weight control and Shane’s ability to fight back from substantial deficits were a highlight, but the combined achievement of both teams was huge. Then came the difficult process for the respective selectors of cutting back their successful teams to the seven players required. Viv Lozell’s Women’s team looks strong and experienced, with an in-form Feona Sayles providing the spearhead in the Singles. The Men’s side is a conservative selection by Terry Puklowski, who has preferred to call on the vast top-level experience of Philip Skoglund in the Singles, rather than gambling on Shane Rogers being able to step up to an even higher plane. Shane will be disappointed, but he’s in the team, and both Men and Women have the firepower to pull off a big result.

This weekend sees another chapter of the very successful Hospice Tournament at Northern with its associated auctions and raffles which Barry Gush continues to organise and run so well. If readers not already involved are keen to participate in any way in this worthy event, they should contact Barry or the Northern Club, even at this late stage.

Bowls Comment – 17th February

Brian Henn’s victory in a long delayed but hard fought Open Singles final was a popular one, and was even good enough to lure wife Lois to the greens for a very rare glimpse of her husband’s skills. It was his third tight tussle under the two-life system with a high quality opponent in Mark Noble, and in the end there was still nothing between them! Brian’s winning shot was an advertisement for his well recognised style, using the precise weight to achieve the result he was after. Brian is well regarded as a hard-bitten survivor from a bygone era and is hardly a poster boy for the clean -cut image that the bodies funding sport these days would like to see. He dispenses with hats for sun protection and is even sighted occasionally with a cigarette in place while drawing the shot. In earlier days he learnt his trade leading for the powerful Peter Shaw side that boasted the talented McGovern brothers in the engine room of the team, and he won his first Centre titles with them. Much more recently, his solid leading has contributed hugely to the successful Brian Little combination in Taranaki. His Gold Star took a long time coming though, because
only in recent years has he become a feared Singles exponent. His genial, no-nonsense no-fuss approach is an example to any young player.

With the crucial Champion of Champions events now complete, a lasting impression is of the collective strength of the Northern women , most recently Champion Fours and Open Pairs winners to add to another Interclub title earlier. With Sharon Sims currently having time out, there are no real stars among the Northern women, but there are many very capable players whose collective club spirit produces the little bit extra needed to win so consistently. The power of Pat Horgan’s Palmerston North combo in the Men’s Fours is obvious, but it was great to see the re-emergence of young Ashhurst skip Mark McIntosh, who marshalled his team well to take the final to the wire. Two of Pat’s team learnt their trade at Terrace End, with Mike Abraham picking up his first title and Clayton Simpson showing again that he is a fine player with youth and exceptional ability on his side.

The hexagonal representative event hosted locally this coming weekend will give both men and women a good idea of where they stand looking forward to the national Inter-Centre titles in Wellington. Barry Wynks and Mark Noble will be missed, but it’s often overlooked that Manawatu were an unlucky second to Dunedin for the Men’s title last year, so our players are genuine contenders.

The Palmerston North club will host two major extended tournaments in the near future – first the North Island LVA Fours and then the unique Golden Oldies event which has filled up yet again with a full field of eighty teams.This is a big tournament by any modern standards and Ken Murray’s superbly prepared greens will guarantee the best possible conditions for both events.

Denis Duffy