Ivan Kostanich Mens Premier Singles – Malcolm Defends title

    Northcote’s Brent Malcolm, one of the up-and-comers of Bowls North Harbour, will defend the Ivan Kostanich Memorial singles title he won last season when the centre’s first major men’s tournament is held this weekend.

 Malcolm will be among a bumper field of 112 who will compete in 28 qualifying sections over a range of carpet greens on Saturday, followed by post-section play at Takapuna on Sunday.

   Several of the best bowlers from the top of the North Island, many with centre and national titles, will contest the open tournament played under the 21-shot format. The winner will receive $500, the runner-up $300 and each of the beaten semi-finalists $200.

  Also returning is last season’s runner-up, Royal Oak’s Gary Cotter who like Malcolm is a relatively new bowler with under 10 years’ experience.

  Malcolm faces a tough task qualifying for post section as he will be playing at Helensville where other top-class bowlers will include Orewa’s Errol Koroi and the talented former Harbour representative Rory Soden, who is now with Auckland’s Mangere.

 Cotter, too, will have plenty of competition at Helensville, where strong players like Stewart Macdonald (Warkworth), Greg Taylor (Northcote), the recent winner of the mixed pairs title, Doug Parlane (Birkenhead) and Graham Skellern (Takapuna) will feature.

 At Waimauku the promising Sean Mulholland (Riverhead) and David Payne (Mairangi Bay) will battle with more experienced players like Northcote’s Greg Newby and a centre gold star holder from Takapuna, Chris Taylor.

 Among the contenders at Sunnybrae will be Riverhead’s Steve Cox, Northlander Kevin Robinson and Birkenhead’s Peter Nathan. At Takapuna the high-profile players competing on a revamped carpet will be former national champion now in Counties, David Clark, and multiple Harbour champion Colin Rogan, who recently in the PBA won a trip in November to Scotland.

 Another top performer over many seasons, Howick’s Neil Fisher, will be at Mairangi Bay, where Riverhead’s Duane McDonald and a promising local, Phil Chisholm, will be playing.

 At Warkworth there will be plenty of interest in the form of Raymond Skoglund, son of one of New Zealand’s greatest ever players Phil and other strong players at this venue will be Shaun Bayne (Northcote), Daymon Pierson (Birkenhead), Garry Banks (Beach Haven), Leon Wech (Mairangi Bay) and John Janssen (Takapuna).

 Play on each day will start at 8.30am, which with daylight saving starting on Sunday will mean some fine tuning of body clocks for those involved in post-section play.   

Lindsay Knight