Rivalries to be renewed in North vs South Challenge

Bowls NZ

Newly crowned national fours champion Dean Elgar will renew his rivalry with Mike Kernaghan later this month.

They have been named to skip the respective men’s fours in the revamped North vs South fixture at the Howick Bowling Club in Auckland on Thursday, March 21 (4.00pm start).

Elgar’s been selected, despite not being in Bowls New Zealand’s high performance or talent development squads.

He was one of those to stand out at the recent Summerset National Fours at the Naenae Bowling Club, beating Kernaghan, the 2016 world champion, in a dramatic final.

Elgar will skip a North Island four, including talent development squad members Tony Grantham, Daryl Read and Ray Martin, while up and comers Sheldon Bagrie-Howley and Richard Hocking will join 1998 national fours winner Andre Smith in Kernaghan’s South Island quartet.

Kirsten Edwards will skip the South Island’s women’s four, fresh from claiming her third national title in four years.

2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Amy McIlroy and talent development squad members Bronwyn Stevens and Cait Bassett have been selected alongside Edwards.

They will square-off against national high performance squad members Lisa Prideaux, Selina Goddard and Wendy Jensen in a North Island four to be skipped by former Blackjack Lisa White.

Gary Lawson has been named in the South Island squad, as he endeavours to earn a long-awaited international recall.

The double world champion will partner Shannon McIlroy in the men’s pairs and will take on fellow national squad members Jordan King and Jamie Hill in a virtual trial ahead of the Asia Pacific Championships in June.

In the women’s pairs, Tayla Bruce and Sarah Scott have been called-up to represent the South against 2017 national champions Ashleigh Jeffcoat and Dale Rayner.

The reigning national champions have been named to represent the North in the singles, with Debbie White and Taylor Horn to play Canterbury bowlers Sandra Keith and Andrew Kelly.

There is also a mixed pairs event, with Kimberley Hemingway and Dean Drummond to represent the North against Keanu Darby and Tessa Lee.

The importance of the event is also highlighted by the appointment of High Performance Coaches to lead the teams, the North will have Gayle Melrose and Graham Dorreen pulling the strings whilst the South will have Graeme Rees and Evan Roberts. The National Selection team will also be present keeping a very keen eye on the talent on display.

The North vs South fixture will precede the National Intercentre tournament (March 23-25), which will also be played at the Howick Bowling Club in Auckland.

The squads are as follows:

North Island:
Women –
Singles: Debbie White
Pairs: Ashleigh Jeffcoat (lead) & Dale Rayner (skip)
Fours: Lisa Prideaux (lead), Selina Goddard (two), Wendy Jensen (three) & Lisa White (skip)
Men –
Singles: Taylor Horn
Pairs: Jordan King (lead) & Jamie Hill (skip)
Fours: Tony Grantham (lead), Daryl Read (two), Ray Martin (three) & Dean Elgar (skip)
Mixed –
Pairs: Kimberley Hemingway (lead) & Dean Drummond (skip)

South Island:
Women –
Singles: Sandra Keith
Pairs: Tayla Bruce (lead) & Sarah Scott (skip)
Fours: Bronwyn Stevens (lead), Cait Bassett (two), Amy McIlroy (three) & Kirsten Edwards (skip)
Men –
Singles: Andrew Kelly
Pairs: Shannon McIlroy (lead) & Gary Lawson (skip)
Fours: Richard Hocking (lead), Sheldon Bagrie-Howley (two), Andre Smith (three) and Mike Kernaghan (skip)
Mixed –
Pairs: Tessa Lee (Lead) & Keanu Darby (Skip)