Makaia Campbell completed a three-peat in the women’s singles open. PHOTO/FILE

BOWLS

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Makaia Campbell kept her cool and came from behind to win her third straight Wairarapa women’s singles title on the Masterton Park-Lansdowne carpet weave bowling green on Sunday.

Campbell, who is a member of the Masterton and Featherston clubs, trailed Margaret Connolly from Eastbourne for most of the match but retained her composure and took the lead in the latter stages.

Holding a 20-18 advantage, Campbell only needed one shot to secure the championship.

She duly held her nerve to complete the three-peat and claim her sixth open singles title.

It was also Campbell’s 25th centre title, giving her a fifth gold star.

Campbell said the victory over Connolly was tough.

“Margaret kept me on my toes. I was behind for most of the way, and it was hard work to get there. It makes you feel good to win a close game,” she said.

“I just took the advice of Scotty McKenzie, who told me to take it just one bowl at a time and not think too far ahead. I’m just happy, but tired.”

Campbell said she’d been playing bowls for about 30 years and put her success down to taking a relaxed attitude into her games.

“I’m one that goes out there and gives it all that I’ve got, and what will be will be. It’s just my love of bowls.”

Campbell was one of six players to qualify for post-section play after her three matches on Saturday.

Having been given the bye in the first round of post-section, Campbell easily beat Gail Hemi [Featherston] 21-6 in the semifinals.

Connolly had a trickier route to the final. After beating Dale Rowe [Featherston] 21-11 in the quarterfinal, Connolly came up against the experienced Judith Wyeth, who had beaten Masterton clubmate Dorothy Christensen 21-11. Connolly went on to beat Wyeth 21-12 and set up what would be an absorbing final.

The victory is a continuation of a good run of form for Campbell, who along with McKenzie made the final of the Wairarapa open mixed 2-4-2 last Thursday, only to suffer a 12-10 loss with the last bowl of the match to the Featherston combination of Les O’Donovan and Dale Rowe.

There’s no rest for Campbell, who has been named to play singles in the Wairarapa side to contest the Lower North Island octagonal tournament in New Plymouth starting on Friday.

That will be followed by the open pairs, and the Masterton Bowling Club’s mixed pairs and women’s pair championships.

Alanna Saunders [Masterton] won the Rampant Lions competition for those players who didn’t qualify for post section play, beating Jean Paku [Lansdowne] 21-19 in the final.



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