Women win silver at National Intercentre
24 March 2023
The Finals had us on the edge of our seats

Auckland’s Premier 1 representative team travelled to Christchurch for the 2023 National Intercentre. The Women drew the first straw starting their campaign on Thursday, whereas the Men did not commence theirs until Friday.

The first day at Fendalton Bowling Club proved to be a bit of a challenge for the Women’s teams – the greens were quite heavy. Auckland came away in the top position, this continued throughout the week playing at Rangiora and Riccarton. Then back to Burnside in a hurry on Saturday to play the first round of post-section. They beat Counties, 2-1.

Sunday morning, we came up against North Harbour in the semi-final, rounding that match off 2-1. Linda Ralph beat Selina Goddard, Olivia Bloomfield & Paris Baker went down to Elaine McClintock & Millie Nathan, and the Fours; Lisa Prideaux, Estelle Hickey, Catherine Bien & Ashleigh Jeffcoat took the match by one shot.

Auckland had no reason to change any team members around throughout the week as each individual player was in top form playing outstanding bowls. Then came the final on Sunday afternoon against Nelson, with four current and past Blackjacks in their line-up.

What a nail-biting match that turned out to be. Linda Ralph narrowly missed beating Jo Edwards. Olivia & Paris defeated Val Smith & Colleen Earl by a large margin, and the Fours narrowly missed what would have created an extra end by a minute measure.

Congratulations to our team for an outstanding performance to head home with the silver medal.

The Men performed well throughout the week with some outstanding performances, which just saw the team pipped at the post by 1 point to miss progressing into the semi-final. It was a mighty battle right to the end against Southland. Once again, we saw some excellent individual bowling from the players, and the team has no doubt had a great experience and learning curve playing at the top level. 

There was great camaraderie amongst the Auckland players who will strive for greater honours next year.

Congratulations to Bowls Nelson and Bowls Wellington for winning the 2023 edition of the National Intercentre event.