Takapuna Women Reign Supreme – National Champions in Champ of Champ Fours

  • July 25, 2022

 After mainly disappointing results in the previous disciples, North Harbour, through a splendid effort by Takapuna’s Women’s Fours Team, finally tasted success when the National Champion of Champion Events ended at the weekend.

 In the final of the fours at Hastings Takapuna’s Lisa Dickson, Lauren Mills, Robyne Walker and Anne Dorreen secured a deserved 17-14 win over Waikato’s Pirongia.

 This win, which was probably a little more decisive than the final margin suggested, climaxed a superb campaign by the Dickson-skipped Takapuna four, in which all seven matches were won.

It was the first national title for all four players and was especially satisfying for Lisa, who despite compiling a stack of titles in the Auckland and Harbour Centres, hadn’t quite secured the ultimate honour, either with national selection or titles, and also for Anne.

The epitome of what a good lead should be, Anne has been frequently close to a national title only to just miss out. Last season she was twice runner-up in the national sevens and in the champion of champion fours, when with Wendy Jensen, Skye Renes and Trish Hardy there was a one-shot loss in the final. And three season ago she was runner-up in a composite four at the national championships, in which in 2012 as a junior she had made the semi-finals.

For husband Graham, too, this was another event to add to his imposing coaching record.

However, to win this title the Takapuna four had to overcome several hurdles.

Both Anne and Robyne have only just recovered from Covid so to endure a marathon, especially on the final day, was a tribute to both their stamina and mental strength.

For Takapuna, having been drawn for the play-off game to enter the quarter finals, had to play four games on Sunday and was on the carpet from just before 8am until nearly 7.30pm. 

Takapuna won the play-off in impressive fashion 19-2 against a Taranaki four from the famous Paritutu club. There were more problems in the quarter-final against Hunua (Counties) and in the semi-final against Palmerston North (Manawatu), particularly as the rinks started to quicken and required some readjustment.

But through any setbacks the Takapuna four played with composure and patience and while Anne was brilliant up front all the others contributed and worked as a team. There were some nervous moments in the final against Pirongia, especially when trailing 4-5 after four ends and then when on the 10th end the lead was only 11-10.

 But Takapuna always looked the team more likely to pick up multiple shots and so it proved with a four on the first end, a six on the fifth end and finally a three on the 13th end. These multiples were testimony all the players’ consistency.

The four, though, always needed to be on its mettle for Pirongia, with good players at lead and skip, was a worthy opponent and to make the final achieved some great results, notably in eliminating last season’s champion, Auckland’s Carlton-Cornwall, in the quarter-finals.

North Harbour’s men’s representatives, Riverhead’s Steve Cox, Grant Goodwin, Duane McDonald and Lindsay Gilmore, missed out on the play-offs, with just the one win in qualifying and a big loss to Auckland’s Pt Chevalier.

So apart from the triumphant Takapuna women’s fours Harbour’s only other success in the champion of champion events was in the men’s singles when Helensville’s Bart Robinson continued his vintage season by finishing runner-up.