Results report – BNH Champ of Champ 2-4-2 Mixed Pairs – 15th & 16th June 2024

  • June 16, 2024

John Walker enhanced an already phenomenal record in North Harbour bowls by winning in dramatic fashion the Centre’s mixed Champ of Champ 2-4-2 pairs competition at the Sunnybrae Bowling Club at the weekend.

In Sunday’s final, after an absorbing match in which there was some quality bowls from all four players, Walker partnered his Browns Bay club-mate, Rona Turner, to a come-from-behind 14-12 win over Takapuna’s Brent Malcolm and Robyne Walker.

It was Walker’s 30th Harbour title giving him a fifth bar to his gold star and there was a special nostalgia to his latest success, for it was achieved with the widow of another great Harbour bowler, Brett Turner, with whom Walker played on many occasions. And Rona, who wore her late husband’s club jacket, in her own right has been an accomplished bowler with her own gold star for five centre championships.

To win the final both Walker and Turner over the concluding stages had to play some superb shots under pressure, for with four of the 14 ends left it appeared that the Takapuna pair, both playing well, had done enough to win.

On the 10th end, with Robyne Walker setting it up with two precise opening draw bowls, Takapuna collected four shots to take a 12-8 lead and break what had been an even pattern with each team until then virtually swapping shot for shot.

But John Walker, who in the midway stages had played some uncharacteristically loose bowls, showed all his class and experience to frustrate his opponents just when they seemed to be taking control.  On the 11th end he took out his namesake’s shot bowl, with a perfectly weighted run shot, on the 12th end he drew the shot when Takapuna had been holding three, then on the 13th end another weighted shot sent the jack into the ditch when again Takapuna had been holding several shots.

Rona then drew her last bowl to the ditch’s edge to leave the game going into the last end tied at 12-all.

John Walker immediately gave Browns Bay the advantage with his first two draw bowls right on the jack, where they remained, despite Malcolm’s brave efforts to dislodge them.

Browns Bay thus will represent the centre at the national play-offs in Hastings on August 16-18.

In the semi-finals both Browns Bay and Takapuna scored comfortable wins, both games ending on the 13th end. Walker and Turner beat Milford’s Charlie McDonald and Sue Rossiter 15-6 and Malcolm and Robyne Walker beat Hobsonville’s Donald and Lenice Baker 18-6.