Red letter day for Counties-Manukau bowls
3 August 2020
Brenton Vannisselroy

Manurewa has secured the final place in the third edition of Bowls3Five on Sky Sport.

The Counties-Manukau club will be invited as the eighth team in this year’s competition, starting in October, after finishing runner-up in the Bowls3Five interclub finals at the Naenae Bowling Club in Lower Hutt.

Elmwood Park won the three match final 3-0, but Manurewa had already done enough to clinch the last berth in the televised league with the Canterbury champions assured of their place having finished runners-up to Stoke last year.

“It’s amazing. We’ve got to now think of a name I guess,” Manurewa skip David Clark said, referring to the nicknames the other seven clubs have.

“We’ve been watching it for a couple of years and we’re there now. That’s very unexpected for us. Little old Manurewa achieved again.

“Counties-Manukau is a small centre in New Zealand struggling a little bit, but hey we can foot it with the best.”

Elmwood Park skip Gary Lawson says Manurewa are “going to be worthy competitors in the TV event”, but winning the Bowls3Five interclub title is “unbelievable” for his club.

“It’s one of the great events and for our club to win it is awesome.

“It doesn’t matter that we’re already in it, this meant a lot to us.”

Fellow Elmwood Park skip Lance Pascoe was presented with his silver star for winning his fifth national title and Lawson says they “were playing for him out there”.

Manurewa earlier secured its place in the final after beating Waikato champions Putaruru 2-1 in the third round, while Elmwood Park swept Blenheim to leave their fellow South Islanders last in the final four.

Counties-Manukau also left Naenae with the interclub cup, for junior bowlers with one to five years of experience.

Papakura beat Stokes Valley (Wellington) 6-1, 5-5 in the final, after the local favourites had swept all comers in round-robin.

West End (Taranaki) and Halswell (Canterbury) were left to fill the minor placings.

Brenton Vannisselroy