Roundup of this weekends Centre Fours by Lindsay Knight

Helensville, with the success of its men’s four, intervened on what otherwise was a golden day for the Takapuna club when the centre fours championships were decided at Birkenhead on Sunday.

 Takapuna, in the men’s and women’s events, provided three of the finalists, with the four skipped by Black Jack Selina Smith beating another four from Takapuna skipped by Marguerite Sakey.

 Takapuna’s Chris Taylor, John McCormack, Bevan Smith and Gordon Jenkins did well to make the final, overpowering the highly fancied Browns Bay line-up of multiple centre champions, Neil Fisher, John Walker, Colin Rogan and Brian Wilson, in the semi-final.

 But the Taylor four had no excuses in the final, suffering a 16-6 defeat. For three of the Helensville side, Rick Howe, Laurie Kean, who is only a second-year player, and Kylie Clark it was a thoroughly deserved maiden title.

 Howe skipped the side, but much of the experience, steadiness and steel came from Bart Robertson, at three, who with this title added to his gold star.

 In the semi-finals Helensville enjoyed another 10-point margin against Milford’s Charlie McDonald, Ian McKenzie, Bik Cheung and Roger Stokes, who till that stage had performed creditably.

 In the women’s semi-finals Sakey’s four of Robyne Walker, Adele Ineson and Connie Mathieson won a tense match requiring an extra end against a strong Orewa line-up of Lisa Parlane, singles champion Elaine McClintock, Christeen Dalzell and Bev Lomas.

 And Smith, fellow Black Jack Wendy Jensen, Anne Dorreen and Trish Hardy recovered from a 2-13 deficit to beat Milford’s Kathy Brown, Jan Hutton, Jan Howson and Lynne Calver 20-15.

 The win of Smith’s four in the final gave Dorreen a second bar to her gold star, and it was Jensen’s eight Harbour title. 

  In the final the international class under pressure of Smith and Jensen was the decisive factor.