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Champions crowned: Wairoa, Gisborne win senior titles

The first of the Gisborne East Coast bowls champions have been crowned.

Down in Wairoa, the champion of champions triples were held last Saturday.

Senior and junior men and women took the green in the hope of earning club bragging rights.

Four women's teams — representing Gisborne, Poverty Bay, Wairoa and Te Karaka — competed in the junior ranks (those with less than eight years of bowls experience) and played a round-robin format.

Gisborne's Kym Brown, Jenny Evans and Karen Pinn had two wins with a plus-five differential, and Poverty Bay's Kim Walters, Ngawai Turipa and Trish Leach also had two wins but a plus-20 differential.

The Poverty Bay team's second-round game became a key factor. Playing Te Karaka, they were fast off the mark and never looked back, getting home 23-5. Leach was steady up front, Turipa was as consistent as ever and Walters covered her team when required.

Not having played much on the circuit, Walters took every opportunity to show her skill, and that she did.

In the senior women, home advantage paid off for the Wairoa team of Glenda Kapene, Donna Smith and Jo Sturmey, who went through their campaign unbeaten.

This section had four clubs entered. The team that withdrew from the Ella Gibson the week before also withdrew from this tournament. Play ended on the Saturday but some had booked a motel to stay the night as they had expected to play a round on Sunday as well.

The surprise was the showing of the Gisborne team of Carol Hawes, Dayvinia Mills and Leslie McIntosh. Coming off winning the Ella Gibson, they just couldn't adjust to the the way the green played and didn't record a win in their three games.

The senior men's competition went down to the wire.

Tolaga Bay's Vern Marshall, Mick Maunder and Murray Duncan played local boys Graham Fitzpatrick, Vern Withey and Wayne Goodley in the first round, where Wairoa got home 16-12.

Playing Poverty Bay in the second, Tolaga won 15-11.

The other first-round game was going to be the foundation for Gisborne's Malcolm Trowell, Arthur Hawes and Dave Beattie. They beat Poverty Bay 23-8, then Wairoa 20-19. After seven ends, Wairoa were 12-2 ahead before Gisborne started their comeback, scoring 14 shots over the next five ends to lead 16-12. In the next three ends, Wairoa jumped ahead again to 18-16 but Gisborne got a three and then a one to be two ahead playing the last end. They conceded only one shot to clinch a 20-19 win.

Going into the last round, three teams were still in the hunt. It all depended on the Gisborne-Tolaga Bay match-up.

With Gisborne on two wins and a plus-16 differential, Wairoa on one win and plus-three, and Tolaga on one win and a zero differential.

Tolaga realised they had to beat Gisborne by nine shots, and even then the outcome would depend on how Wairoa fared against Poverty Bay.

For much of the Gisborne-Tolaga game, the advantage went to and fro.

On the 16th end of the 18 played, Tolaga were 16-10 ahead on the board and held four shots with two of the bowls a foot from the jack.

Holding the last bowl, Trowell changed his hand to draw. Sending it down slightly wide, he edged off one of his wing bowls to nestle right next to the jack.

In the next two ends, Tolaga gained three more shots to win 19-11.

Wairoa drew with Poverty Bay.

After the count-up, it was found that Gisborne and Tolaga both ended with two wins and a plus-eight differential each, meaning the result would be decided by ends won over the day.

Tolaga Bay had 26 ends won; Gisborne had 29, giving them the championship triples title to go with their centre open triples win a few months ago.

Congratulations to all winners.

On another note, the inter-centre competition that was to be played this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Wellington for the men and women picked to represent Gisborne East Coast has been postponed till August at this stage.