National Intercentre – Summary by Lindsay Knight
North Harbour’s men’s team failed to make post-section play in the national inter-centre competition which finished in Wellington at the weekend and the women’s team went out in the quarter-finals.
But while celebrations were obviously muted there were any number of positives from Harbour’s representatives.
While the men’s side finished sixth of the seven teams in its qualifying section the singles player Bart Robertson achieved a notable feat in winning all but two of his six matches. There were solid performances as well from several other players.
And in the women’s competition Wendy Jensen and Lisa Parlane were unbeaten until the quarter-finals when they had a narrow loss to their Canterbury opponents.
Singles player Selina Smith also performed to a high standard. In the quarter-final she beat her Canterbury opposite and fellow Black Jack Tayla Bruce 25-11, after conceding a four on the first end. And her only losses in the 25-shot matches were by slender margins.
The four, too, lifted its game in the quarter-final to extend a line-up skipped by the redoubtable Mandy Boyd.
Women’s selector Graham Dorreen said Harbour’s performances had to be kept in perspective of what were intensely tight, top level competitions. “I think we did very well,” he said. “The hardest thing is to make it to post-section. Even in the qualifying rounds the teams are of a high standard.”
Many of the country’s top centres, like Auckland in the women’s competition, missed post-section play, too, and in the men’s final Auckland, stacked with international players, had been upset by Southland. Nelson was the women’s champion, beating Dunedin, which pipped Canterbury in their semi-final.