Several of the centre’s legendary players were among the major winners when the Bowls North Harbour NZ Masters sponsored by Senior Trust ended at the Browns Bay club on Friday 6 October 2023.
Colin Rogan and John Walker, who between them have close to 70 centre titles, were in imposing form to win the 75 plus men’s pairs, winning the final from Aucklanders Mike Hardrup and Mike Costello 11-6. And while not quite with the same dominance another two of Harbour’s multiple centre champions, Bart Robertson and Elaine McClintock clinched the 60-74 mixed pairs title, but only by 11-10 over Lin East, from Browns Bay, and her partner, Lloyd Sinton. Lloyd amassed a large following of Browns Bay members over the week and it was heartening the support from the sideline.
One of Harbour’s official legends, Ruth Lynch, returned from her new centre, Bay of Plenty, to partner Takapuna’s Irene Costello, in winning the women’s 75 plus pairs title, However, they, too, were made to battle hard in the final, winning by just one from a gallant Milford pair of Alwine Barlow and Jan Hutton.
Takapuna secured a double in both men’s fours titles, with Chris Taylor, Murray Mathieson, Bik Cheung and “guest” Leighton Bristol winning the 75 plus final from Birkenhead stalwarts, Lionel Drew, Sandy Cleghorn, Roy Parker and Barry Reyland. The Birkenhead Drew-led team had been leading all the way to the final three ends, where they dropped a four to be two behind and ultimately may have cost them the gold medal. A line-up skipped by Wynne Gray won the 60-74 title. Gray had Simon Poppleton at three, Roger Stokes at two and Dennis Hale leading in beating the Garry Cotter-skipped Waikato four in the final. Poppleton and Stokes replaced Brett O’Riley and Gordon Jenkins who were unavailable after playing the early rounds.
Takapuna’s other winners were Judi Farkash and Jan Calcott, who won the 60-74 women’s title with a comfortable win over experienced Aucklanders, Estelle Hickey and Helen Blick.
Calcott had a memorable tournament as she was in a four skipped by Keiko Kurohara and with Connie Mathieson leading and Jamie Chen at three, which finished runners-up to a Bay of Plenty four skipped by Gayle Melrose. The BOP team including Mina Paul, Mary Campbell and Marilyn Constantine are no strangers to high-performance bowls, came from behind to secure the win.
Milford was another club which could be proud of its effort, especially in women’s events. Alwine Barlow and Jan Hutton were in a four with Jill Wallace and Elaine Hall which only just lost the 75 plus title to one of the visiting teams from Pukekohe, Diane Main, Kathy Lister, Sheryl Brownlee and Elaine Hall. Alwine also was silver medalist in the 75 plus Women’s Pairs with Jan Hutton.
National gold-star holder Petar Sain, from Auckland’s Carlton-Cornwall club, partnered Jill Fraser to win the 75 pus Mixed Pairs title over Northland legend Ann Muir and Earl Edlin. Ann and Jill, now playing out of Kerikeri in the Far North, had a battle of the leads upfront which was exciting to watch.
In the 60-74 Men’s Pairs, Allan Smith and Michael Jelley, won the title from Northlanders, Steve Smith and Keith Marshall.