Centre Fours From Knights Crusader

With the centre’s top bowlers, Tony Grantham and Elaine McClintock the spearheads, Browns Bay continued its dominance of North Harbour bowls’ major tournaments at the weekend.
Grantham, now with Browns Bay as well as Birkenhead, skipped a line-up of Adam Haywood, Scott Mouton and Lindsay Gilmore to a 17-14 win over the Leon Wech-skipped Mairangi Bay four in the men’s final at Milford.
And McClintock made it a Browns Bay double when she skipped Kerin Roberts, Eileen Shand and Christeen Dalzell to a 19-10 win over another four from the club skipped by Rona Turner in the women’s final.
For Grantham, with 13 centre titles to his credit, it was another excellent preparation for the Transtasman series on the Gold Coast in a fortnight’s time when he will be part of the Black Jacks squad.
For Haywood and Gilmore it was their first Harbour titles, though Haywood, recently arrived in New Zealand after a five-year stint in Western Australia, has won titles in the Thames Valley and Counties centres. And Gilmore has plenty of experience in both the Auckland and Harbour centres and has made an amazing transformation as a player.
A natural right-hander, he readjusted to playing with his left arm after a serious shoulder injury some years ago.
Though beaten it was a gallant effort by Wech’s Mairangi lineup of Gary Banks, Kevin Cameron and Bevan Darlington, who at 12-8 after 11 ends looked headed for an upset win. But dropping consecutive fours on the 12th and 13th ends proved costly.
The women’s final, too, was much more competitive than the final margin suggested, with Turner’s line-up of Rhonda Preston, Gail Dick and Anne Dorreen looking on course to defend the title they won last year. But their chances went with a slump over the final stages including dropping a five on the 12th end.
However, it was another brave effort overall, especially by consistent lead Dorreen, who has only resumed playing after being ruled out for four months by a major operation.