While two personal milestones were achieved, those of Tony Grantham and Gail Dick, there was an even more significant feat when the centre’s champion of champions fours titles were decided at Mairangi Bay at the weekend.
Playing at two in the Orewa women’s four, which had Dick at three and Wendy Jensen at skip, was Irene Donaldson, who all season has been fighting bigger issues than those on the bowls green.
She has been receiving treatment for cancer, yet has performed with such distinction as a bowler she has secured two centre titles.
Her part in the weekend’s win by Orewa over Takapuna in final added to that which she was awarded as part of the winning pennants team. She is happy if by continuing to play bowls what she can provide hope for those who might share her condition.
By skipping Browns Bay in the men’s fours champion of champions final, Grantham gained his 20th centre title so adding a third bar to his gold star and Dick picked up her 15th title to add a second bar to her gold star.
For Grantham it made it up for a narrow defeat the previous weekend in the champion or champion triples. Playing as a replacement, Grantham had the Browns Bay greenkeeper Brendan Kelly at three, Sean Mulholland, still a junior, at two and leading was the experienced and much under-rated Denis Bawden who now has four centre titles of his own. Kelly and Mulholland earlier in the season shared in Browns Bay’s pennants success. With Bawden playing accurate draw bowls, Browns Bay had a comfortable win over Warkworth, who prolonged the battle with a number of killed ends. It was the second final for Warkworth’s Stuart Macdonald and his lead Mike Beretta, who a fortnight ago won the champion of champion pairs title.
Jensen, who continued her stellar season, and Dick both had telling roles in the Orewa women’s 14-13 win over Takapuna, with their respective weighted shots gaining a four on the 12th end and then a three on the 14th. Till then Takapuna’s Trish Croot, Anne Dorreen, Robyne Walker and the consistent lead Connie Mathieson had had the title in their grasp, having led 7-1 after five ends and then 10-8 after 11.
It was another disappointment for Takapuna’s ladies as it was the club’s third losing final this season, though Croot and Mathieson did win the pairs championship. As well as the courageous Donaldson, Jensen and Dick received steady support up front from Jacqui Broderson, who continued the big impression she had made since moving from Auckland.
Manly completed a double in the one-to-eight year championships also decided at Mairangi Bay at the weekend. The Manly men’s team of Keith Benson, Kevin Rainsford, Dave Pownall and Bruce Travis, beat Gary Cotter’s line-up from Frankton Railway on an extra end, with Ransford playing the winning shot by taking the jack into the ditch.
And the Manly women’s team of Jenny Wilson, Val Eadie, Christine Langley and Kaylene McNabb won the round-robin from Mairangi Bay.