Anniversary weekend to remember for Birkenhead – Lindsay Knight
Not only did Birkenhead run with distinction a tournament honouring one of the club’s and the centre’s greatest women players, Carole Fredrick, but its trio of Millie Nathan, Gary Wallace and Chad Nathan won for the second consecutive year, the Milford 5000.
To win what has become of New Zealand’s best tournaments of its type back-to-back is a notable feat. For among the 32 teams in the Milford 5000 were some of the best intermediate and junior bowlers from Auckland and North Harbour but many other parts of the country.
The Birkenhead triple won four of its matches in Sunday’s main draw along with Pringle Park’s Darryl Mackie, Andy Kemp and Marty Griffiths, Howick’s Kevin Beasley, Linda and Bruce Fenton and Point Chevalier’s Alex Reed, Colin Williams and Stephen Campbell.
A remarkable four-way tie meant the calculators had to be used and on the points differentials Birkenhead finished on plus 36, Pringle Park on plus 32, Howick on plus 30 and Point Chevalier on plus 29.
Clearly the last round contained considerable tension with the competition so close and cut-throat.
Royal Oak’s Vila Fifita, Steve Fisher and Nicole Singer finished fifth with three wins and a draw, with Orewa’s Brendan Wilson, Willie McIvor and Kerry Greenhaig as the best two winners sixth.
Takapuna’s Jerry and Jacqui Belcher and Laurie Kean atoned for a disappointing first day by winning the plate with four wins. Balmoral’s Tessa Farley, Chelsea and John Sudden also won four but were second with an inferior differential. Orewa’s Roy Haydon, Michelle Kean and Gerald Hill finished third in the plate.
The Nathans and Wallace headed the prize money winning $1500 for first place while the plate winners pocketed $360.
It was a masterly piece of organising again by the Milford club, headed by Ian McKenzie and Jan Hutton. The only disappointment was that because of Covid restrictions spectators were not allowed.
In the other major tournament of the weekend, the Birkenhead club celebrated in fitting manner the deeds of the late Carole Fredrick.
Her close friend and playing partner Ruth Lynch spoke before the tournament urging the visiting women’s bowlers from all over the centre to have fun and while playing competitively to enjoy the game and the company. That turned out to be the theme of the four match, one green, one-day tournament.
Ruth didn’t quite land the first two prizes, which would have made the day more memorable, but was among the prizes, finishing in third place skipping another Birkenhead stalwart Mavis Smith and Connie Mathieson.
The tournament’s first prize of $600 and a handsome trophy donated by Carole’s family went to three competent bowlers from Orewa, all multiple centre champions, in Christeen Dalzell, Kerin Roberts and Jan Harrison.
The runners-up were Takapuna’s Adele Ineson, Keiko Kurohara and Jamie Chen. Adele, another who played often with Carole, won a further $50 for winning the afternoon spider while Browns Bay’s Margaret Oates won that in the morning.