Intercentre prep Open Quadrangular tournament – Lindsay Knight
North Harbour premier men’s and women’s teams had invaluable warm-up tournaments on Sunday to prepare them for the national inter-centre championships starting in Wellington on Thursday.
The men’s team had four wins from nine games competing against some particularly strong Auckland line-ups in its quadrangular tournament at Papatoetoe.
Team manager-selector Gary Stevens pointed out that some new back-up combinations had been tried and said that over-all there had to be satisfaction with what was achieved.
There had also been a reminder of the need to avoid short bowls and to ensure there were covering bowls. In top competition falling down on these areas obviously would be costly.
Players who had done well had been Brian Wilson as lead in the fours and singles player Bart Robertson, who had lost only one of his matches and that to Auckland’s multiple national title-holder and former Black Jack Jamie Hill.
There had also been a convincing win in the pairs by Graham Skellern and Peter Nathan over two of Auckland’s other national champions and former Black Jacks Tony Grantham and Mike Galloway.
Harbour had a 2-1 win over Counties and each of the matches against the Auckland teams had resulted in 1-2 losses. Its opening two games in Wellington will be at the Wilton headquarters green against Bay of Plenty and Canterbury. The latter will be without Gary Lawson, who this season is playing for Auckland.
In the women’s quadrangular at Howick North Harbour had finished second with 15 points from five wins, with Auckland winning on 21 points, followed by Counties on 12 and Northland on six.
Manager-selector Graham Dorreen commented: “There were enough good signs to know where we are going.”
Singles player Selina Smith was in top form winning all three games and the four, though losing to Auckland, had made a great comeback after being 12-1 down after five ends to take the lead on the second to last end 16-15. However, on the last end the four dropped a final two shots for a one-shot loss.
The disappointment was the three losses suffered by two crack bowlers, Lisa Parlane and Wendy Jensen, in the pairs.