Junior Men’s Rep Wrap by Lindsay Knight
North Harbour one-to-five year men’s representative coach Ian Hardy is satisfied with the performances of his charges this season, even if success in the two major fixtures came courtesy of their lady counterparts.
In each tournament, at Hobsonville in October and at Pakuranga in March, the Harbour men were edged out by Auckland but the women’s results tilted the overall victory Harbour’s way.
“As they have been quick to remind us, the ladies pulled us through,” Hardy says.
Though changes were made in the line-ups between tournaments Hardy is delighted with the overall depth of bowlers under five years within the centre.
There is, for instance, a strong core of bowlers still in the development stages from the Mairangi Bay club in particular in the likes of Phil Chisholm, Fata Letoa, Mike Wilkinson, David Payne, who’s also a Glenfield club member, Ron Horne, Alan Daniels and Allan Langley, the latter having only two seasons experience.
Takapuna’s Bob Telfer and Gordon Jenkins each appeared in the representative side and are only third year players, while Birkenhead has also produced a good group of up-and comers in Jerry Belcher, Jerome Rusk, Stacy Munro and Robbie Henson.
Riverhead had two top performers in the centre championship in Duncan Whittaker and young Zaylin Ross, the latest in a stalwart bowling family. Warkworth’s James Newlove, twice a runner-up in the one-to-five year major singles championships last season, was the singles player for the first tournament, but gave way to Manly’s Kevin Rainsford when that promising player dropped down from the one-to-eight year representative squad.
Browns Bay’s Sean Mulholland was another of the verge of the eight-year squad, and along with Rainsford may not be eligible next season.
But with so much talent emerging Hardy is confident a high standard will be possible next season. The only qualification, of course, is what incentive will be provided with Bowls New Zealand apparently set on limiting development programmes. Hardy says it would be a shame if the chance to play one-to-five and one-to-eight representative levels were scrapped, particularly when most centres throughout New Zealand wanted them retained.