Dorrance & Van den Berg defeat The Nathan’s in Thriller – By Lindsay Knight

Two of the Centre’s up-comers, Browns Bay’s Gideon van den Berg and Manly’s

Andy Dorrance, offered an encouraging glimpse into a bright North Harbour future

 with an Impressive win at the weekend in the any combination one-to-five year pairs

championship.

 In the final at Takapuna they beat the equally promising Birkenhead bother-and

Sister combination, Milly and Chad Nathan, 12-10.

 As the low score indicated, it was a tight, tense contest filled with accurate draw play

by both leads and some spectacular shot-making by the skips, van den Berg and

Millie Nathan, which far more experienced players would have envied.

  Van den Berg, aged 37, originally from South Africa, has been playing only two

years while his lead, Dorrance, aged 49, with a background in the United Kingdom in snooker and football, has been playing for only three seasons.

 The pair came together as members of the Harbour one-to-five year representative squad and for Dorrance, a towering figure at 194m (six feet four and half inches for the oldies among us), it was his second consecutive weekend in a high profile final.

 In the Centre’s one-to-five year men’s singles final he only lost to Orewa’s Matthew Higginson after a three-hour, 32-end epic decided only by a close umpire’s measure.

To make the final van den Berg and Dorrance had to come from a big deficit against Mairangi Bay’s Gaye Horne and Michael Thomas in the semi-final. Having dropped a six on the second end they were 10-nil down after three ends and only managed to take the lead in the 15th of the 18 ends before winning 23-20.

 Horne and Thomas scored a notable and surprisingly comfortable win in the quarter-finals against one of the fancied combinations, Higginson and Orewa club-mate Paul Daniels. Thomas, just 28 and despite his small stature a rugby player for Silverdale until recently, was another to show considerable promise in only his second season in the game.

 The Nathans also enjoyed a decisive win in their semi-final against Bowls New Zealand chief executive Mark Cameron and his Riverhead partner, Peter Young.