INTERNATIONAL SINGLES FINALISTS FOUND
The majority of International Singles qualifiers were completed over the weekend around the country’s NZ Professional Bowls Association venues.
At the Remuera Bowling Club in Auckland, North Harbour’s Colin Rogan was taken to the wire by Kevin Beasley before prevailing 9-4, 3-8, 2-1. Beasley reached his first PBA singles final beating well-performed players Neil Fisher, Ricky Howe and Jesse Russell, while it was the second time Rogan survived a third end of a tiebreak winning his quarterfinal over Steve Hoeft in the same manner.
Aidan Zittersteijn also won the final at the Paritutu Bowling Club in New Plymouth in a three-end tiebreak beating coordinator Kevan Sellers 8-7, 6-10, 2-1. This completed a successful season for the New Plymouth branch with several new members from the Taranaki and Whanganui area, finals streamed on facebook, food available thanks to Aidan’s mother Sandra, and well-organised events in Sellers’ first season in the coordinator role appreciated by the players.
The final at the Hastings Club almost went to a tiebreak but Mike Isaacson did enough to win in straight sets 10-4, 7-7 over Peter Jones. Isaacson comfortably controlled the first set including four shots late in the set, but had to rescue the second set from 1-7 down after 5 of the 9 ends picking up two deuces and two singles with precision draw bowls. Isaacson has been to Finals Weekend twice in pairs but this will be the first time in singles.
Manawatu’s Ross Ellery beat Wairarapa’s Scott MacKenzie in the final at the Naenae Bowling Club in Wellington winning 8-8, 7-6. Both players were in great form with neither dropping a set all day before the final. Ellery was also involved in a catch-up qualifier final for the Scottish Singles beating Ray Martin 10-5, 7-7.
Craig Tinker beat Brent Thomson at Invercargill’s Waverley Bowling Club 10-5, 8-6 in a close-fought match. Tinker has been a regular feature of Finals Weekends in recent seasons while Thomson has not quite made the break-through – this was Thomson’s fifth loss in a PBA qualifier final including a third in this event.
Dunedin will hold a local finals day on Sunday 22nd August with Oliver Mason and Southland’s Sheldon Bagrie-Howley the only chances of making more than one event in the national Finals Weekend to be hosted at the Hopes Dunedin Bowls Stadium in September. Mason will play the World Indoor Pairs qualifier final partnering Central Otago’s Nick Buttar against Russell Dawe and Ray Webster, while Bagrie-Howley is in the last four of the World Indoor Singles qualifier playing Adam McGregor in the semifinal – South Otago’s Jamie Nicol faces Elliot Mason in the other semi.
Both Oliver Mason and Bagrie-Howley are also involved in the International Singles qualifier semifinals with Bagrie-Howley matched against South Canterbury’s David McNeill, and Mason battling Murray Wilson. Canterbury’s Jeff Nowell will play Bill Hinton in the Scottish Singles qualifier final.
The NZ PBA continues to watch for updates on World Bowls Tour events and MFAT travel advice, and will adjust travel prizes depending on whether those events proceed or New Zealanders continue to be advised against international travel.