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GEC to face BoP in new rep format

The representative programme for the 2019/2020 lawn bowls season gets under way tomorrow when four Gisborne-East Coast teams play their Bay of Plenty counterparts at Whakatane Bowling Club.

The venue has two Tiger Turf carpet greens — the same surface provided at the Poverty Bay Bowling Club, where the Gisborne-East Coast teams have been practising over the past few weeks.

This one-day fixture has eight-person teams up against each other in senior and junior men’s and women’s divisions.

Bowls Bay of Plenty has introduced a new format based on the Ryder Cup golf concept where players do not play the same discipline twice over the scheduled three rounds on Sunday.

Bowls GEC centre selectors Ben Brown (senior men), Bobbie Beattie (senior women), Lyn Trueman (junior women) and Trevor Mills (junior men) will be interested to see if this new format will provide a more even contest than in the past for the Endeavour and Waioeka shields, the two trophies being contested.

The GEC senior men’s team looks a strong combination. Regulars Jamey Ferris, Steve Goldsbury, Bob McIlroy and Robin Jefferson team with Adam McIlroy, making a welcome return to representative play, along with Gisborne Bowling Club’s Charlie Ure and Ricky Miller, and Wairoa’s Brent Smith.

Beattie has also selected a capable and experienced senior women’s side.

They include Glenda Kapene and Donna Smith from Wairoa as well as Dayvinia Mills, Lesley McIntosh and Tanya Harrison (Gisborne), Marie Wright (Kahutia), Jan Powell (Poverty Bay) and Sarah Brown (Te Karaka).

The junior women’s team are a mixture of youth and experience. Selector Lyn Trueman has included secondary school students Paige Richter (Lytton High School) and Angela Gibson-Sam (Campion College), who both reached the final stages of the national secondary school finals last season.

Newcomer Libby Clay joins Gisborne Bowling Club clubmate Kay Goldsbury, along with Poverty Bay’s Ngawai Turipa, Kahutia’s Diane Oates and Te Karaka’s Diane Murray.

Junior men’s selector Mills is quietly confident that the likes of Kahutia’s Willy Murray, Mike Howes and Ray Young, along with Gisborne’s Tim Sherriff, Ron Robertson and Peter Clay, making his debut at this level, will team well with Poverty Bay’s Andrew Ball and Wairoa’s Vern Withey.

Withey is from a well-known Dannevirke bowls family. The experience he gained in the Hawke’s Bay centre should be invaluable to the team.