National Intercentre Championships & Representative Octagonal Report

  • March 18, 2024

  A brave effort by the BNH Centre’s women’s representatives wasn’t quite enough to bring them the national inter-centre title when the national championships were decided in Wellington at the weekend.  After charging into the play-offs by winning all five qualifying games and then achieving another clean-sweep in the post-section, Harbour suffered a heart-breaking loss 2-1 against Northland in Sunday’s semi-final.
Selina Goddard, regaining her sublime form in the singles, completed a perfect record for the tournament with her seventh win from as many games, but the four of Wendy Jensen, Lauren Mills, Robyne Walker and Theresa Rogers, lost by just one shot, dropping a five midway through the contest proving crucial. They recovered to manage a four on the last end but that wasn’t enough to the make up the leeway and the pair of Elaine McClintock and Millie Nathan went down 11-18.  Until then both the pair and the Jensen-skipped four had all been in fine form.

 Selina’s was a particularly magnificent feat as among the players she defeated, most by decisive margins, was the current national singles champion, Leanne Paulson, playing for Counties-Manukau.
Harbour’s wins on the opening day of qualifying were 3-0 against Waikato, 2-1 against Central Otago, 2-1 against West Coast, then on the second day 3-0 against Counties and 3-0 against Wairarapa.
Nelson, with two of the greats of New Zealand women’s bowls, Jo Edwards and Val Smith, won the women’s final beating Northland in all three disciplines.
The men’s team of Carlson Barnett, Neil Fisher, John Hindmarch, David Payne, Daymon Pierson, Bart Robertson, Mark Rumble and Gordon Smith was less successful, missing out on qualifying by finishing third in its section.  Its cause received an early setback with a 2-1 defeat to a strong Southland team which included current national title-holders Sheldon Bagrie-Howley and Aiden Takarua. That was followed by a 2-1 defeat to Gisborne-East Coast and a draw with Wairarapa.

Following a second day reshuffle with Pierson moving to the singles, Barnett skipping the pair and Payne going to two in the four, the team showed something like its true form with a 3-0 win over the always powerful Nelson side and another draw with Waikato. But those results came a little too late to ensure qualifying.

 Wellington won the men’s final, beating Wanganui 2-1.

 There were excellent performances by both Harbour teams at the Octagonal development challenge played at Howick at the weekend. But again both men’s and women’s teams narrowly missed out on the major honours.

 After finishing Saturday’s four matches top of the men’s ladder Harbour slumped to a 3-6 loss to Auckland in the fifth round on Sunday and then a 9-0 defeat to Wellington in the sixth round. But a comprehensive final round win over Hawke’s Bay meant a final placing of second, just ahead of Auckland and Bay of Plenty on differential.

 Wellington’s development men won handsomely to complete a double for the capital at the weekend.

 Harbour’s women also finished the first day in a promising position, the only setback being an opening round draw with Counties-Manukau. But a 9-0 defeat to eventual winner Bay of Plenty in Sunday’s fifth round meant having to be content with third, shaded for second by Auckland on the differential.  Still, as with the men it was a worthy effort considering the high standard of competition.