Results – Mercedes Cup 2022 2023 – Winners Helensville – amended copy

  • July 2, 2023

Helensville added to its many successes, dating back to the halcyon days of Ivan Kostanich and Pat Robertson,  by winning the Mercedes Cup one-to-five Northern region tournament at Whangarei’s Kamo cluib at the weekend.

 The team of Fred Peretti singles), Paul Buchanan and Jeni Hart (pairs) and Chris O’Sullivan, Sharon Parker and Doug King (triples) finished top over the five rounds by one point from last season’s winner, Auckland’s Howick.

Helensville Mercedes Cup Winners 2022 2023

 The other clubs were from the Counties-Manukau, Northland and Far North centres.

 Helensville’s consistency was reflected in the fact Peretti lost only one game, that to the Howick player, an Auckland junior representative, and Buchanan and Hart also lost just the once.

 The Helensville team was the same as that which won the North Harbour one-to-five interclub competition in early April, except for Sharon Parker coming in for the unavailable Jack Hutchinson.

 Club stalwarts, Neil and Joy Connell, managed and coached the team and were obviously delighted with the success at both centre and regional levels. It was the reward, agreed Neil, for a lot of hard work.

 “Helensville can and should be proud of this effort,” he said.
 His main message to the players had been to get out and play in as many clubs and tournaments as they could, allowing them to adapt to different conditions. The future was looking bright for the club with a player like Hutchinson only 17 years old.

 The win showed that Helensville had plenty of talent emerging to join the likes of the club’s star players, Bart Robertson and Ricky Howe.

  Also demonstrated was the strong family component in the Helensville club. Jeni Hart and Sharon Parker are both following in the footsteps of respective fathers who are Helensville legends. Sharon’s dad is the multiple centre champion, Ron Cowper, and Jeni’s dad, another widely respected bowler, the late Terry Cullen.

 The significance of the Helensville’s win can be gained from the fact that only two other Harbour clubs have won this event since its introduction in 2004. Takapuna won in 2015, after finishing a close second in the inaugural 2004 tournament, and Mairangi Bay won in 2019, repeating an earlier success by that club in 2005 when a strong team of Con Kater, Brian Rogers Les Bolton, Des Lowe, Roy Finlay and Bruce Aley edged Auckland’s Avondale.

by Lindsay Knight