Junior 1-5 Women by Lindsay Knight

One of the big success stories of North Harbour bowls this season has been the centre’s one to five year women’s representative side.

Some excellent results in two early tournaments, starting with the regional triangular in October, were capped in the recent quadrangular tournament against Auckland, Waikato and Northland at the Pakuranga club.

 The Harbour ladies won the event achieving significant victories over their Auckland and Waikato counterparts. Harbour split its matches two wins each against Auckland and against Waikato scored three wins to one.

The latter result was especially meritorious as a number of the Waikato players subsequently played for that centre’s one to eight year representative side.

At the Pakuranga quadrangular singles player Judy Smith, from Manly, had a win, a loss and a draw, the pair of Caroline Dubois (Glenfield) and Gayle Wilkinson (Mairangi Bay) won two and lost one as did the triple of Laura Tauniva (Glenfield), Loz Croot (Birkenhead) and Irene Donaldson (Orewa).

The four skipped by Tereapii (Tee) Ford (Glenfield) and with Colleen Rice (Mairangi Bay), Lyn Calver (Milford) and Geraldine Wight (Takapuna) up front did even better, with four wins and no losses. It was a particularly game effort by lead Wight who was handicapped by a leg injury. But not only did she have an unblemished record with the representative side but the day before she also had 100% success on the way to winning her club’s one-to-five singles championship.

Dubois is another for whom playing representative bowls has proven to be a major stepping stone. She has been picked to represent Tonga at April’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Coach Grant Keats was delighted with the Pakuranga success as an indication of the centre’s depth. Four top under five year players, Mairangi Bay’s Theresa Rogers and Trish Hardy, Birkenhead’s Jacqui Belcher and Glenfield Puna Paretoa, were missing because they were promoted to the one-to-eight year representatives and the national development representative Paris Baker is also eligible for under five events.

And two who played in earlier tournaments, Takapuna’s Kathy Barnes and Barbara Williams, were unavailable through illness and injury.

Keats believes a reason for the one-to-five’s successful season has been the younger bowlers’ incorporation in a wider North Harbour representative squad with Denise Samuel in charge of the open side and Sheryl Johnson the one-to-eight years. Movement, Keats says, between the groups has been seamless.

Keats, meanwhile, joins other Harbour Centre officials in expressing a strong belief that despite Bowls New Zealand’s moves to the contrary representative sides at the development levels serve an excellent purpose and should be maintained.

Final placings for the Men’s and Women’s 1-5 Year Quadrangular Intercentre.

Men:
1st -Auckland
2nd – North Harbour
3rd – Waikato
4th – Northland

Women:
1st – North Harbour
2nd – Auckland
3rd – Northland
4th – Waikato