The Weekend’s Wrap by the Knights Crusade

Two of the centre’s most consistent bowlers of recent years, Mairangi Bay’s Jan Gledhill and Hilary Ross, added to their impressive records when the North Harbour’s women’s triples championship was decided at the weekend, while their less experienced club-mate Theresa Rogers moved to within one of her coveted gold star.

Gledhill skipping, Ross in the middle and Rogers leading won an absorbing final 15-14 from Orewa’s experienced and much decorated Judith Seager, who skipped Maureen Howden and Irene Donaldson.

The steady play of the Mairangi Bay trio looked to be heading them for a comfortable win when they took an 8-2 lead after eight of the 18 ends and maintained a six shot advantage for much of the match. But the Orewa side finished strongly and all but forced an extra end when Seager ran the kitty into the ditch.

But with her last bowl Gledhill drew second shot to take the match by one. It was the seventh centre title for each of Gledhill and Ross and the fourth for Rogers, who is just a fourth year player.

To make the final Orewa had to come from behind in the semi-finals to beat the Birkenhead triple of Trish Croot, Loz Croot and Barbara Staal. Trish Croot at skip was especially outstanding and in the quarter-final earlier she had inspired her line-up to an upset win over the fancied Browns Bay combination of Lisa Parlane, Elaine McClintock and Anne Dorreen.

Last year’s winning skip, Sunnybrae’s Jan Jones, failed to make post-section play as did the powerful Birkenhead triple of Ruth Lynch, Carole Fredrick and Connie Mathieson.

The men’s singles final, to be played at a later date, will be between two Orewa players, Wayne Wrack and Bruce McClintock, with Wrack winning his semi-final 21-19 over Takapuna’s John Janssen and McClintock by a similar margin over Mairangi Bay’s Don Ambrose. Both came from large deficits to snatch wins.

But one of the big talking points came from a 23-year old unknown, Daryl Read, playing out of one of the centre’s smaller clubs, Belmont Park. A naval rating originally from Taranaki, Read upset Orewa’s well performed David Eades to make the last eight where he also performed gallantly losing just 21-15 to Wrack.

The performance has seen Read, a seventh year player, introduced to the representative one-to-eight year training squad.

In another quarter-final, Ambrose played some miraculous bowls over the last couple of ends to oust last season’s champion Scott Evans. At 18-18 Evans looked to have taken the match when he drove the kitty to the ditch, only for Ambrose to draw the winning shot right on the ditch’s edge.

Black Jack Tony Grantham missed post-section play when he failed to survive a tough qualifying section with losses to Takapuna’s Trevor Forward and Orewa’s Errol Koroi.