Centre Mens Pairs – Final Results and Summary by Lindsay Knight
|Winners – Adam Haywood and Tony Grantham||Runners Up – Jack Hurawai and Jimmy Heath|
Adam Haywood has played little competitive bowls this season, but that was not evident by his performances in the Browns Bay colours at North Harbour’s men’s pairs championship this weekend.
Skipping former Black Jack and multiple centre and national champion Tony Grantham, Haywood picked up his gold star for his fifth centre title when he and Grantham swept past all their opposition.
In the final they had a comfortable 21-9 win over a competent Birkenhead pairing of Jack Huriwai and Jimmy Heath. That followed equally commanding wins in the quarter-final over Birkenhead juniors Gary Wallace and Robbie Henson and in the semi-final over a strong Northcote pairing of Brent Malcom and Greg Taylor.
The reason for Haywood’s lack of bowls this season has been his move, while remaining a member of Browns Bay, back to his home town of Whitianga. Because work and family have taken priority he had played only once or twice before the weekend.
Gaining a gold star was especially satisfying for 37-year old Haywood, who started bowls 11 years ago in his mid-20s. He has played previously in Thames Valley and Counties and in each of those centres is currently sitting on four centre titles, as he had been until the weekend in North Harbour.
He and Grantham made for a powerful combination in Sunday’s post-section play especially in the final. Grantham led with all his old accuracy and as well as possessing an awesome drive on the few occasions the pair were in trouble Haywood also drew impeccably.
“They were just too good for us,” admitted Huriwai. However, it was a commendable effort by him and Heath to make the final, with the latter only an eighth- year bowler.
They played especially well in their semi-final to win 18-11 against Mairangi Bay’s David Payne, a highly promising fifth-year player, and Wayne Glogoski, who in their quarter-final won a cliff-hanger against Takapuna’s Paul Freeth and Trevor Forward.
To make the semi-final Malcolm and Taylor had a surprisingly decisive win over two distinguished members of the gold star club, Bart Robertson and David Eades.
Other top bowlers who missed post-section included two of the centre’s most decorated players, John Walker and Colin Rogan, a solid Birkenhead pairing of Randall Watkins and Daymon Pierson and the 2018-19 champions, Riverhead’s Gordon Smith and Harry Moore.