Centre Womens Pairs Summary by Lindsay Knight
Black Jacks Selina Smith (nee Goddard) and Wendy Jensen produced all of their international class this weekend to give the Takapuna club its second consecutive North Harbour centre women’s pairs championship.
In the final at Browns Bay Smith, as skip, and Jensen, as lead, overwhelmed the host club’s Margaret Oates and Pat Hutchings, winning 22-8 after 16 of the scheduled 18 ends.
The win followed the success last season of Takapuna club-mates, Trist Croot and Connie Mathieson, who missed out to Oats and Hutchings in the semi-finals.
Having just returned on Friday from representing New Zealand in the Transtasman series in Australia, Smith and Jensen began the tournament scratchily and in section play match were well beaten by the strong Orewa combination of Elaine McClintock and Lisa Parlane.
They thus only scraped into post-section play as one of the highest second placed players.
But today Smith and Jensen were back to their dominant best, not only comfortably winning the final but also having a decisive semi-final win over another multiple centre champion, Judith Seager, and her Orewa club-mate Jacqueline Broderson.
Despite impressive form in Saturday’s qualifying rounds, McClintock and Parlane went out in the quarter-finals, eliminated narrowly by Croot and Mathieson 16-15.
For a time in the semi-finals it looked as if it would be an all-Takapuna final for as well as Smith and Jensen always ahead of Seager and Broderson, Croot and Mathieson rocketed away to a 12-1 lead over Oates and Hutchings after just four ends.
But a dropped six by the Takapuna pair on the fifth end suddenly changed the game’s momentum and Oates in particular played some magical bowls over the latter few ends to give Browns Bay a deserved 22-16 win.
In the final, though, against the relentless pressure and accuracy of Jensen and Smith, the Browns Bay team could not recapture the touch it had shown in the semi-final.