The Gore Rams have come back down to earth in Bowls3Five, with the Auckland clubs doing the double over the previous competition leaders.
The Point Chevalier Pirates were the first team to knock over the Rams in the inaugural televised league, coming back from 6-0 down in the second set to beat Gore 4-3, 7-6 in the opening match of day six action at the New Lynn Bowling Club in Auckland.
The Rams did not look themselves in the first set, but would have pinched it had it not been for some heroics from Pirates skip Aiden Takarua.
Takarua earned Pt Chev a shot on the fourth end to take a 4-1 lead and then produced another telling drive when Gore was holding three shots on its power play to win the Pirates the set.
The Rams woke from their slumber in the second set to race out to a 6-0 lead, scoring four on the Pt Chev power play, but the Pirates bounced back in style to level the set and sent it to a deciding end.
It came down to the final bowl, with Gore skip Sheldon Bagrie-Howley driving, trying to remove the three Pt Chev shots close to the jack. He hit the target, but only removed two of the bowls and the Pirates held on.
“Heart in my mouth down the other end, I was a bit worried. He got connection, he just got a bad result,” Takarua said.
Pt Chev now lead Bowls3Five, while their Auckland rivals, the Royal Oak Rockets, have edged closer to a top three berth, after a dramatic tie-break win, also over Gore.
The Rockets won a tightly contested first set 4-2, after picking up two shots on the deciding fifth end, before being blown away in the second.
The Rams picked up four shots on their power play to jump out to an unassailable 11-2 advantage and eventually took out the set 12-4.
Royal Oak skip Mike Galloway then stepped up to win the match for the Rockets, delivering an inch-perfect drive to remove Gore’s two shot bowls.
“You only get one chance, I took it and it came off,” Galloway said.
The Rockets remain fourth on the table, but are now just one win behind the Rams.
“Watch out Pirates we’re on our way,” Galloway said.
The Stokes Valley Vipers are three points further back in fifth, but have kept their title hopes alive with a polished 6-3, 6-1 win over the Stoke Thunder.
After dropping three shots on the first end, the Vipers found their touch with James-Cameron Powell and Lisa White setting the table for Stokes Valley skip Seamus Curtin.
The Vipers picked up a shot on the second end, two each on the third and fourth and another one on the fifth, which was the Thunder’s power play, to wrap up the set.
The sides were level at 1-1 after two ends of the second set before Stokes Valley took control and Curtin ensured the Vipers secured their second win of the competition.
“It’s a massive boost. We haven’t had the greatest start and…we’ll try and get better from here,” Powell said.
The Stoke Thunder remains equal on points with the Gore Rams and will face both the Pt Chevalier Pirates and the Royal Oak Rockets when the competition resumes next Tuesday (November 13). The winless Woodend Jets will have another night off.
Day 6 results
Point Chevalier Pirates bt Gore Rams 4-3, 7-6
Stokes Valley Vipers bt Stoke Thunder 6-3, 6-1
Royal Oak Rockets bt Gore Rams 4-2, 4-12 (Royal Oak won the tie-breaker end 1-0)
Standings after six nights
Pt Chev Pirates 15
Stoke Thunder 12
Gore Rams 12
Royal Oak Rockets 9
Stokes Valley Vipers 6
Woodend Jets 0