Interclub Sevens – Summary by Lindsay Knight
Birkenhead and Orewa won respectively the men’s and women’s inter-club sevens competitions when they were decided at the weekend.
Both championships, however, were not won easily and each produced some close and exciting clashes, with Takapuna having the misfortune of finishing with an unenviable double of being runner-up in each contest
Decided over just a one-day round robin because there were only four entries, the women’s event went to Orewa by just one point from Takapuna.
The outcome, indeed, came down to the dramatic final pairs match between Orewa’s Tira Campbell and Maureen Howden and Takapuna’s Marguerite Sakey and Robyne Walker.
With Sakey at skip making some remarkable saves with weighted shots, Takapuna jumped away to a 16-8 lead and appeared to be heading for the overall win, only for the leeway to be gradually pegged back by the steady Orewa pair who eventually won 18-16.
The Orewa triumph was anchored in large measure by the Lisa Parlane-skipped four which finished the round-robin unbeaten. Kerin Roberts (three), Christeen Dalzell (two) and Jan Harrison (lead) completed another consistent line-up, with Elaine McClintock the singles specialist.
Another who went through the day unbeaten was Black Jack Wendy Jensen playing the singles for Takapuna. That was a special effort as she came against three other excellent players in multiple centre champions in McClintock, Helensville’s Deb Presland and Mairangi Bay’s Theresa Rogers.
In the men’s competition, played over three weekends, Birkenhead finished on 60 points, Takapuna on 56 and Helensville was third on 51.
Takapuna looked as if it might go on to be overall winner when in the weekend’s opening round it won all three disciplines against an accomplished Browns Bay line-up.
But against other strong line-ups in Orewa and Riverhead Takapuna had the slightly harder run home and Birkenhead was a deserving champion.
The winning Birkenhead side was Peter Nathan (singles), John Hindmarch and Mark Rumble (pairs) and Randall Watkins, Evan Thomas, Daymon Pierson and Jimmy Heath (fours). This was Birkenhead mens’ first sevens success in 19 years.
Birkenhead and Orewa now have the chance of going onto to winning the national sevens play-offs later in the season.