Centre Womens Pairs – this weekend

   Small in number, but high in quality — that’s the field for North Harbour’s women’s championship pairs which will be played at Browns Bay this weekend.

 There are only 24 teams entered with Saturday’s qualifying rounds over six sections. But that will inevitably mean the competition being intense and cut-throat.

 For instance, Takapuna’s Wendy Jensen and Selina Smith (nee Goddard), who will be just back from playing for New Zealand in the Trans Tasman series in Australia, will face stiff challenges just to make Sunday’s post-section play.

 They have drawn a particularly tough section which also includes two multiple centre champions in Orewa’s Elaine McClintock and Lisa Parlane.

 The pressure will be on from the start as only the winners of each of the six section, plus the two best qualifiers, will go into the quarter-finals. For even the most star-studded combinations one slip could be fatal.

 Last season’s champions, Takapuna’s Trish Croot and Connie Mathieson, have also found themselves in an extremely competitive section. They will have to overcome Mavis Smith and the promising Millie Nathan (Birkenhead), Gail Dick, another multiple centre champion, and Michelle Kean (Orewa) and another Orewa combo, Elizabeth Ring and Tira Campbell.

 Scattered throughout the other pairings are several other centre title-holders, including the likes of Judith Seager (Orewa), Jacqueline Broderson (Orewa), Jan Gledhill (Mairangi Bay), Theresa Rogers (Mairangi Bay), Adele Ineseon (Takapuna), Deb Presland (Helensville), Rona Turner (Browns Bay) and Shona Chambers (Browns Bay).

  The winning team receives $100 and the runner-up $50.

Lindsay Knight