The weather cleared from the showery conditions of the Semi’s Monday morning to scorching hot conditions for the Final, as Howick Bowling Club played host to the Ryman Healthcare 2-4-2 Mixed Pairs.
In the first semi we had young stars Selina Goddard and Jesse Russell – Composite, up against the equally talented pairing of Leeane Poulson and Roger Andrew – Composite. Poulson & Andrew, had some cracking matches on their road to the final, their quarter-final in particular against Phil and Sandra Taylor, was a massive game and had the spectators at Howick on the edge of their seats, taking the game in 17-16 in an extra end. Like-wise with Goddard & Russell, their first game in post-section was also decided on an extra ending taking the match from Jeffcoat and Takarua 12-11 – sending their friends to the Plate. No surprises then that this semi was neck-and-neck all the way – Poulson & Andrew finally taking the match at time 13-10, 13 ends.
In the second semi Scott Harrison & Esther Eu – Composite vs David Nightingale & Jamie Chen – Composite, both these sides had a relatively smooth ride through to the semi’s. Harrison and Eu in particular taking their first game in Post section 28-0 against Reihana and Ruka, then their second 15-1 against the Husband and wife team of Karen and Grant Hema. Their quarter final was not so quick, but still a convincing win 19-11 over O’Keeffe & Dayal. Their opposition have had a great tournament, taking their first post-section win 22-9 over Cross & Raman, their second 17-11 over home team Estelle & Paul Hickey and their quarter 17-8 over Batkin and Putu. Harrison & Eu in this semi proved the superior team, leading for most of the game over Nightingale & Chen and ultimately taking the match 17-13 in the 16th end.
The Final was an epic event with the 16 ends taking over three hours to complete. The heat and sometimes gusty winds made conditions quite tricky at times, but both teams battled through playing excellent bowls. Poulson and Andrew were early to lead taking a three on the first end, but Harrison & Eu chipped away taking a four on the fifth end and the lead 6-5. The Pair held onto the lead for the rest of the match. Poulson and Andrew took a three in the 11th end closing the gap to 9-14 and again in the 16th, not enough to catch the champs, winning the match 17-14.
Winners of our plate competition were Kim Tilly and Sam Toloke.