Bowls New Zealand National Champions – report by Lindsay Knight

  • July 17, 2023

For the second consecutive weekend the Browns Bay club, and Neil Fisher in particular, have come frustratingly close to securing a national title, falling again in the last game.

  On Sunday, July 16, in Dunedin, Fisher and his lead Sean Mulholland lost the national champion of champion pairs final on an extra end.

 And last Sunday Fisher skipped John Walker and Colin Rogan to yet another finals defeat, this time in the national men’s champion of champion triples.

  But on this occasion the defeat was a little more clear-cut.

  The Browns Bay trio showed why they have been such a dominant force in North Harbour bowls, by qualifying comfortably and winning their quarter-final 17-10 over Dunedin’s St Kilda and then West Coast’s Cobden 17-5 in the semi-final. But Browns Bay then ran into Southland’s Gore.

 Skipped by one of the country’s most promising bowlers and current national singles champion Sheldon Bagrie-Howley, Gore proved far too strong, even for bowlers of the class of Fisher, Walker and Rogan, and won 18-2.

 Still for one club to make two finals is a worthy effort.

 In the women’s final, in which North Harbour was not represented, Thames’ Kay Bunn, Val Matthews and Adele French, were successful, beating South Canterbury’s Kia Toa 18-17.

 The national champion of champions circuit will conclude this weekend, with North Harbour represented in both men’s and women’s events by Birkenhead, who will have the advantage of playing closer to home with the venues in the Auckland region, at Royal Oak and Pukekohe.