Last weekend saw the continuation and finals of Bowls North Harbour Interclub Pennants 2023.

Normally held in October/ November they were moved to August this year and played over three days. The change i date was suggested by the clubs at the BNH club cluster meeting held in March this year.

The first day was Saturday, August 19th, and the second day, scheduled for Sunday 20th was cancelled due to heavy rain.  Saturday 26th became the final day of qualifying and Sunday 27th, the reserve day, became finals day.

Mairangi had five teams entered, one each in the men’s and the women’s sections and three teams in the mixed section.   No pressure, but Mairangi Bay won the mixed A section last year.

A team is made up of 6 players playing 2 games of triples. Each game win is worth two points but the differential score of both teams is worth 4 points. It is critical to win the differential.

Men – the Sharks, had a very good qualifying round winning four games and losing one.  They qualified top of the section to go through to the quarter-finals.  The team was 1/ Phill Chisholm, Bruce McClintock and David Payne and 2/ Wayne Glogoski, Gordon Jenkins, and Brian Rogers.  On the second day, Murray Radojkovich replaced Brian Rogers and on finals day Michael Thomas replaced Murray.

They faced the Beachaven Badgers in the quarter-final, Wayne’s team won their game, Phill’s team were down early but fought back, last end they needed at least three to reduce the differential. Phill killed two ends in a row and needed to do so again on the replayed end but was unable to achieve this a third time.  They went down 6-2 on points and 34-31 on shot points.

Women – the Pearls, had a great start winning their first two games 7-1 over Orewa and 8-0 over Takapuna, they then had lunch, then a bye and then there was a delay before their final game. They had been sitting around for just over two hours and struggled to get into their last game losing 8-0 to Birkenhead.  They ended up second equal on points with Birkenhead who had a slightly better shot differential and edged out Mairangi Bay for the second-place qualifying position.  Team was 1/Elaine McClintock, Kerin Roberts and Theresa Rogers and 2/ Sheryl Wellington, Jan Gledhill and Colleen Rice.

Mixed – Mairangi had three teams entered.

Part of the winning team from last year, the Snappers, 1/Alison Rennie, Phyl Humphries and Ron Rennie and 2/ Glyn Taylor, Louise Ball and Annie McGrath.  Unfortunately, Phyl was very unwell during the first game of qualifying, so we replaced her with Graeme McGregor who had turned up to watch, which was very fortunate.

Phyl ended up in hospital with pneumonia, but I believe she is back home and recovering, all the best, Phyl from the mixed teams.

Second day of qualifying, Elwyn Beatson, another of last year’s winning team, replaced Phyl.  They were fourth equal with one round of qualifying left and needed to win both games.  Unfortunately, they lost both games to Northcote.  A great effort by them with Phyl who turned 90 recently, Alison turns 90 this week and Ron is 90 plus.

The Dolphins, 1/John Gledhill, Flora Macdonald and Steve McGregor and 2/ Jim Price, Glenda Rountree and Michael Thomas.  Gaye Horne replaced Michael Thomas on the second and finals day.  The team sparked up on the second day of qualifying (Gaye Horne inspired), they only had 12 points and John Gledhill said we cannot qualify.  They won their first two games and got 8 points in each and took six points against the Stingrays to rocket up into fourth place.

The Stingrays, 1/Alan Daniels, Stuart Jamieson and Joy Watkinson and 2 / Larry Cain, Irene Donaldson and Jo Baxter had a great qualifying section, winning all six games on the first day.  On the second day, they lost one game to Beachaven and one to the Dolphins and won both games against the Snappers.  They qualified in the top position. The draw was that the two Mairangi Bay teams would play each other in the semi-final.

For some reason that did not happen. The Dolphins played Hobsonville, and the Stingrays played Northcote.

In two close semis the Dolphins beat Hobsonville 6-2 on points and 34-31 on shot points, the Stingrays beat Northcote 6-2 on points and 30-26.  Two very close and tense games.

Mairangi Bay final, Stingrays v Dolphins.

The final was even more tense, the Stingrays got out early but the Dolphins came back. The result changed every end. The Stingrays had the differential lead but needed to win one game and then some critical shots were played. On the 17th end, Jim Price’s team were down 14-11, Larry was holding two shots and with Jim`s last bowl, he picked up the jack to score a three to make the score 14 all, a five-shot swing. Jim won the last end to win the game 15-14. Before Jim’s bowl, the game was going to Larry’s team.

In the other game, Alan’s team led early but a three to John`s team on the 12th end saw the teams level at 12 all. On the 17th end, John`s team got another three to lead 16-15.

Again, another critical bowl, the 18th and final end, Alan`s team were holding one for the draw, Steve changed John`s hand for his last bowl and in he came picking up the jack and holding five, Alan was unable to draw the shot, and this meant Larry’s team needed to win by six shots to draw the game.

A great win by the Dolphins in a very tense, close game. Well done to Mairangi Bay – see attached photos.

All these twelve players played exceptionally well.  Gaye played great bowls, Glenda moved to lead and was very impressive and Jim came in with those critical bowls at the right times.  John Gledhill was also impressive skipping his team. Flora played great bowls coming in at the right time and had great control with her weight and Steve McGregor was Steve McGregor, consistently being there and constantly taking the shot off Joy.

Alan, Stuart, Joy, Larry, Irene (in her first appearance for Mairangi Bay) and Jo, all played great bowls over the three days, qualifying top and almost winning the final.

Many thanks to our supporters – Graeme McGregor, Noelene Culpan, Verna Cain, Louise Ball and Jan Gledhill.

Report by Alan Daniels.