Summary of the CoC Singles played over the weekend – Lindsay Knight
Two of North Harbour’s most in-form players, Helensville’s Bart Robertson and Takapuna’s Selina Smith, continued on their winning ways in the Centre’s champion of champion singles events at the weekend.
Robertson, already a Centre gold star holder, won the men’s title with a 21-8 win over Riverhead’s vastly experienced Steve Cox in the final and Smith won the women’s final over a game Julie Armstrong from Northcote 21-9.
Despite the margins both finals were keenly contested and not a true indication of the tenacity and fight both Cox and Armstrong showed against two strong opponents. Robertson beat Hobsonville’s Lloyd Wong in the semi-finals, having earlier dispatched two of his main threats in Colin Rogan (Browns Bay) and Brent Malcolm (Northcote).
Cox won his semi-final against Manly’s promising Kevin Rainsford, who earlier had eliminated another of the centre’s up-and-comers, Takapuna’s Jerry Belcher, 21-20.
Smith recovered from a slow start in the women’s semi-finals to beat Birkenhead’s Trish Croot, whom she will meet soon in the championship final. She thus furthered an extraordinary run of success in singles events in major tournaments, with her few losses against players of the calibre of Jo Edwards.
Armstrong caused a surprise in her semi-final by upsetting one of Harbour’s best women’s players of the past decade, Orewa’s Elaine McClintock, recovering from a 14-20 deficit to win 21-20. Armstrong, however, has been an accomplished player in her own right, having won a one-to-five Centre title several seasons ago and in 2015 the C entre champion of champion pairs title.