Results – Men’s & Women’s Centre Fours
A gold star for one of the centre’s most consistent women’s bowlers of recent years, Connie Mathieson, and a second already for the season for Trish Croot, capped a special day for Birkenhead when the Bowls North Harbour Centre Fours championships were decided under cover at Orewa yesterday.
For Birkenhead won both Men’s and Women’s titles in the tournament sponsored by Orewa Sands, the Grove. Trish skipped Millie Nathan, Loz Croot and Connie to a comprehensive 17-4 win in the final over Takapuna’s quartet of recent national champions, Lisa Dickson, Lauren Mills, Robyne Walker and Anne Dorreen.
And about the same time the Birkenhead’s men’s team of John Hindmarch, Evan Thomas, Mike Haggart and Peter Nathan won its final against a brave Manly combination of Keith Benson, Denham Fernell, Kevin Rainsford and Andy Dorrance.
Trish added to the mixed pairs title won with Mark Rumble in September and for Connie it was a fifth centre title and thus the coveted gold star award and for Millie and her dad Peter the rare experience of two from the same family winning separate titles within a few minutes of each other.
It was the third time in recent seasons that Trish and Connie have shared centre titles and there was a touch of irony in that this milestone success came against Takapuna.
Trish was also a member of Takapuna a few seasons ago and won the 2018-19 centre pairs title with Connie in Takapuna colours. Connie, of course, remains a dual Birkenhead-Takapuna member and though four of her five centre titles have been with Birkenhead most of her bowls career has been with Takapuna.
The comfort of Birkenhead’s win came as a surprise as in the semi-final it had secured a narrow one-shot win over Orewa’s admirable veteran Elizabeth Ring and her team of Val Taylor, Mary Wright and Tina Campbell.
On the other hand, Takapuna, fresh from helping win the national sevens in the previous weekend, seemed to have surged into form by coming from behind to win its semi against a strong Mairangi team of Sheryl Wellington, Jan Gledhill, Colleen Rice and Theresa Rogers.
For Hindmarch it was his second centre title and for Peter Nathan his third, but for Thomas and Haggart their first, even though the latter pair have been well performed at centre level for some seasons.
In the semi-finals they gained the notable scalp of the renowned Browns Bay four of Neil Fisher, John Walker, Colin Rogan and Brian Wilson, with an 15-7 win.
Manly won its semi-final 13-11 over a vastly experienced Riverhead line-up of Steve Cox, Grant Goodwin, Gordon Smith and Duane McDonald. Despite the loss in the final it was an exceptional effort for Dorrance is still a junior and Benson not long out of those ranks.
The other men’s quarter-fnalists were Ricky Howe’s Helensville, Warren Seeque’s Orewa, David Payne’s Mairangi Bay and Walter Howden’s Takapuna.