Fitting Finale
26 June 2024
Newly crowned champions wrap up a spectacular season

Last weekend, the final two events for the 23-24 season (excluding WinterClub) concluded with the crowning of the Auckland Men’s Centre Fours and Auckland Men’s 1–5-Year Singles champions.

Stephen Campbell (Howick) and Peter McConnell (Royal Oak) faced off in their Singles final, picking up from where they left off two weeks ago in their respective semi-finals. The match drew a spectacular crowd, with Royal Oak supporters fresh from their AGM and Howick Bowling Club members rallying to support Campbell after postponing their AGM.

Despite the home turf advantage, McConnell was the underdog against the more experienced Campbell, who started strong with precise draw bowls. McConnell’s ability to move and manipulate heads kept the match competitive, with both players scoring into the teens. However, Campbell shifted gears and built his score end-by-end, eventually securing a 21-14 victory.

In his emotional post-match speech, Campbell thanked his club and supporters for their unwavering support throughout the season.

Meanwhile, in the Men’s Fours semi-finals, the home side of Galloway, Dixon, Dixon, and Fisher displayed dominance over Teo Turua’s Bridge Park four, conceding the match early at 21-6. Another strong team, Adam Blucher’s Te Atatu side, built an early 12-0 lead against Bryan Chapman’s East Tāmaki team. Despite East Tāmaki narrowing the gap and threatening the lead, Te Atatu held on to advance with a 17-12 victory.

In the Final, the consistent front-end bowls of Fisher and Dixon (Kevin) set up the Royal Oak four for a successful game, limiting Te Atatu’s scoring opportunities and often forcing creative shot play. Despite their best efforts, Te Atatu found themselves down 16-6, conceding the match without the need to play the last end. This victory sealed off a Player of the Year season for Mike Galloway and earned Steve Fisher his first Auckland Centre title to complement his National title from New Plymouth earlier in the season. For Martin Dixon, this title marked his incredible 20th Centre title, making him the third recipient of this honour – a historic milestone for the Centre.

Overall, the conclusion of these events marked a fitting end to an exciting season. Bowls Auckland takes a small break on event delivery. In contrast, Winter Club, Winter Coaching, PBA, and ABCA events keep bowlers’ arms swinging until the 2024-2025 season kicks off again in mid-September with the 1–5-Year Fours and Women’s Premier Open Singles.