Two-gether again!
13 December 2023
By Brendon Walton, Tournament Convenor

Pairs qualifying rounds determine finalists!

What a stunning weekend with 280 competitive bowlers on greens all over Tāmaki Makaurau – enjoying the best weather and the bowls!

With last season’s winning Women’s combo not playing, the gates were left open for newcomers in a smaller yet highly competitive field. In the first round on Sunday morning, Agnes Motu and Lesley McLinden from Bridge Park had a strong performance, putting to bed Te Atatu’s Robyn Reihana and Marion Hakaraia – only to come up short in the round of 16 to the solid Pt Chevalier pairing of Jo McKenna and Jenny Stockford. The Pt Chev duo progressed to the semi-finals, destined to meet Linda Ralph and Jo Cheng from Carlton Cornwall.

Balmoral sisters Chelsea Suddens and Tessa Farley proved a pair to watch, with dominant scorelines in the round of 16, 24-4 and the quarter-final, 19-8. They will meet Royal Oak’s, Rima Strickland and Nicole Singer in the second semi-final match.

53 of the 100 Men’s teams made it to post-section with plenty of feature matches across the three rounds of play. Nick Thompson & Liam Hill (Auckland BC) defeated the Mt Albert duo Neven Grgicevich & Zoran Bartulovich 20-13, who went on to play hot favourites Gary Lawson & Tony Grantham. Lawson/Grantham won in a spectator’s dream match, 23-6 – the score was in no way a reflection of what was a thrilling game on Glen Eden’s stunning green.

The biggest draw on the Blockhouse Bay greens was the round of 32 match between Leif Selby & Philip Robottom (Auckland BC) vs Neville Hill & Graham King (O&D). After 18 ends, the two duos locked at 14-all. The extra end, played after the time limit, was watched by all at the venue.

The Men are now down to the last eight! Last season’s champions, Bill Fulton & Tony Garelja (Henderson), are set to play the strong Chris Lowe & Jordan King (Mt Eden) combination. 1-5 Year pairing, KJ Lark and Brett Christe (Carlton Cornwall) had a strong weekend, excited to find themselves in the mix.

Plenty of quality bowls are left in both fields, so you would be brave to bet on this one – it’s anyone’s for the taking!

Here are the Pairs Finals at a glance:

Women’s Semi-Finals

  • SF 1: Jo McKenna, Jenny Stockford – Pt Chevalier vs Linda Ralph, Jo Cheng – Carlton Cornwall
  • SF 2: Chelsea Suddens, Tessa Farley – Balmoral vs Rima Strickland, Nicole Singer – Royal Oak

Men’s Quarter Finals

  • QF 1: Kevin Dixon, Steve Fisher – Royal Oak Bowls vs Gary Lawson, Tony Grantham – Mt Albert
  • QF 2: Pat Bell, Nicky Third – New Lynn vs Kevin Beasley, Simon Gao – Howick
  • QF 3: Chris Lowe, Jordan King – Mt Eden vs Bill Fulton, Tony Garelja – Henderson
  • QF 4: Graham King, Neville Hill – Onehunga & Districts vs KJ Lark, Brett Christie – Carlton Cornwall