Summary of COC Mens and Womens Singles – by Lindsay Knight
Two of the Centre’s most successful players of the past decade, Orewa’s Elaine McClintock and Helensville’s Bart Robertson, added to their already impressive North Harbour records with wins at the weekend in the respective champion of champion singles events.
In the women’s final under the roof at Orewa on Sunday Elaine had a surprisingly comfortable 21-6 win over former Black Jack Wendy Jensen, a one-time team-mate now with Takapuna, and Bart won another rousing clash, 21-16 over Browns Bay’s Brian Wilson.
The latter contest, indeed, was a repeat of the championship final at Birkenhead in February when in another tight, tense match Robertson had another win, 21-19.
Robertson now has 11 Centre titles to his credit and McClintock, runner-up in the national singles at Browns Bay in 2015, has 14, to be within one more win of adding a second bar to her gold-star.
And, of course, the other weekend finalists, Jensen and Wilson, are also gold-star holders, an illustration of the Centre’s playing depth.
In the semi-finals on Saturday Wilson beat Birkenhead’s Nigel Drew 21-8 and Robertson beat another accomplished singles exponent and multiple champion in both Auckland and Harbour Centres, Riverhead’s Steve Cox, 21-14.
Cox earlier had ousted Orewa’s promising Matthew Higginson, who in the first round had beaten Takapuna’s Commonwealth Games para representative, Graham Skellern, 21-14.
In the women’s event McClintock had a 21-19 win over Mairangi Bay’s gritty Colleen Rice and in the semi-final won 21-14 over Helensville’s Kelly Clark.
Jensen won her semi-final by just 21-18 over Milford’s Lorna Donald, who performed creditably throughout the tournament and had a notable success in ousting Birkenhead’s accomplished Millie Nathan 21-15.