Former National Singles champion Dean Elgar and Kahutia representative Dayvinia Mills have been crowned the National Club Singles champions at the Browns Bay Bowling Club in the North Harbour.
Taranaki’s Elgar, who last year finished runner-up in the World Champion of Champion Singles at St John’s Park, was in irrepressible form as he once again stamped his mark on the nation as a top singles exponent.
Following an unbeaten string of results on day one, Elgar continued his winning form on day two, accounting for the winless Kelvin Bland of Waipukerau, before going on to comfortably dispatch Westport’s Chris Bullock and claim the silverware with maximum points.
Across rinks, Mills, a zone three contender from Gisborne East Coast, turned the tables in impressive fashion, overturning a 14-1 deficit to beat Kapiti Coast hopeful Audrey Stevenson 21-18 and setting up what was effectively a grand final opposite former National Singles champion Sue Wightman heading into round five.
Wightman, who had earlier enjoyed an unblemished record on day one, seemingly came unstuck against Tauranga South’s Mary Campbell in round four, narrowly pipped 21-19 in a thrilling match-up, duly taking the tournament decider down to the wire in the final round.
A commanding performance saw Mills storm home with the goods, securing the victory 21-6 and serving Wightman her second consecutive loss in as many starts on day two.
Other results saw South Canterbury’s Gary Ford beaten by Tauranga’s Lance Tasker in the final round, though Ford’s record of three wins from five saw him comfortably take out the runners-up position – one game ahead of Tasker, Opononi’s Ian Lewis and Bullock, who all finished on two wins for the campaign – separated merely by shot differential.
The women’s field saw Stevenson jump to second place on differential with Stevenson, Wightman and Campbell once again all separated for second, third and fourth placings by several differential points. Marlborough’s Sandra Bunt finished fifth, while Southland’s Bronwyn Stevens was unable to clock up a win, confining her to sixth position.
With the weekend looming, all attention will now turn to the Men’s and Women’s Pairs competition, with a quick glance across the field confirming some fiercely talented contenders taking to the greens in both sections.