PPL Finals Report by Lindsay Knight

Orewa asserted itself as the new powerhouse club of Bowls North Harbour with an impressive performance in the weekend’s PPL finals.  Orewa fielded two of the four finalists, a remarkable feat in itself. It was thus no surprise that its main team, the Seagulls, comfortably took the first place of $600, which goes directly to club funds.

 In the Seagulls line-up there was a galaxy of stars with centre and national titles galore, Elaine McClintock, Bruce McClintock, David Eades, Wendy Jensen, Walter Howden and Murray Vallance.  All of them, of course, are immaculate draw bowlers, one of the essential skills required for two-bowl pairs.  The Seagulls finished with 33 points, winning seven of their nine games, to head off second placed Birkenhead by 10 points.

 Birkenhead’s lineup of Evan Thomas, Shane Gibson, Randall Watkins, Daymon Pierson, Peter Nathan and John Hindmarch finished strongly to overhaul Takapuna in the final round.  Takapuna’s Trish Croot, Norm Scott-Morrison, Bevan Smith, Gordon Jenkins, Chris Taylor and John McCormack, did well to qualify in a tightly contested zone which included Mairangi Bay.  But after a good start in the finals Takapuna did not quite take advantage of playing on its home green and only just held off Orewa’s second team, the Tuis, for third place.  Completing Orewa’s great day was the second side of Derek Button, Maureen Howden, Christeen Dalziel, Jan Harrison, Tony Rickerby and Warren Seeque.

 The standard of bowls was maintained despite deteriorating weather and a successful promotion vindicated the nomination of Bowls North Harbour for a Sports North Harbour innovation award for its pioneering role in launching the PPL format.