Nationals Fours & Mixed Pairs Report

  • March 1, 2024

 Black Jack Selina Goddard did the North Harbour centre proud by winning the national mixed pairs title in Taranaki this week to add to her now formidable record in recent national championships.   Selina, already a national gold star holder while still in her 20s, has now a complete set of titles, the mixed pairs to go alongside previous successes in women’s singles, pairs and fours.  She won the title with her Southland partner and fellow Black Jack Sheldon Bagrie-Howley with a convincing 20-6 win in the final over Taranaki’s John Garrud and Trish Howard, never looking in danger of defeat after picking up a five on the sixth end.

 For Selina and Sheldon this was consolation for their defeat in last year’s national pairs final in Alexandra.

Though winning comfortably in the final they did have some close contests both in qualifying and in post-section. Indeed, in the semi-final they trailed on the last end and only won with virtually the last bowl by one shot.  In the round of 16 and in the quarter-finals they also came against stiff opposition, beating current national women’s singles champion Leanne Poulson and Helensville’s Bart Robertson in the round of 16 and two other past national singles champions, Canterbury’s Kevlin Scott and Tayla Bruce in the quarter-final.

Selina also made the women’s fours semi-finals, where the composite she skipped was narrowly beaten by her Takapuna club-mates, Wendy Jensen, Lauren Mills, Robyne Walker and Adele Ineson.

The Jensen-skipped four lost the final by a big margin, but it was still a good tournament for the Takapuna club, having representation in all three finals played in Taranaki. Philip Skoglund, also a Takapuna member, was in the mainly Manawatu composite which made the men’s final.

 Several North Harbour players made post-section play in the mixed pairs, with Trish Croot also making the round of 16 with her Canterbury partner, Alvin Gardiner.

 Wendy Jensen, playing with the great Gary Lawson, went out in the round of 32 to the promising, young Taranaki bowlers, Kaylin Huwyer and Briar Atkinson, who then ousted a celebrated couple, Peter and Reen Belliss, in a quarter final of high drama.
 The Belliss team looked to be heading for a comfortable win 15-9 up with only three ends to play and both looking to be in fine touch. But Huwyler and Atkinson picked up six shots, having gained a four on the second-to-last end when Atkinson’s drive swept away all of the Belliss shot bowls.

 Centre board chair Robyne Walker completed a fine personal tournament by also making the round of 32 with her Auckland partner, Adam Blucher and other Takapuna ladies among the qualifiers were Keiko Kurohara, Jamie Chen and Bet Leung.   However, they were eliminated in the early stages, as were Brown’s Bay’s Neil Fisher and Sean Mulholland and Manly’s Shaun Goldsbury and Skye Renes, who could not repeat last year’s feat of making the semi-finals when still juniors.