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Headaches for selectors after poor showing

By Gary Caffell

Nothing can be guaranteed about the make-up of the Wairarapa teams to contest the national inter-centre bowls championships in Wellington on March 24 and 25.

Selectors Ian Monaghan (men) and Gail Hemi (women) were given plenty to mull over after the annual Tararua quadrangular tournament was played in Masterton over the weekend with the top Wairarapa combinations making only limited impact against opposition from Wellington, Manawatu and Kapiti.

In the men’s open section played at the Lansdowne club the Wairarapa squad of Mongahan (singles), Les O’Donovan and Scott MacKenzie (pairs) and Steve Willis, Doug Bennett, Mark Morete and Dean Hands (fours) finished bottom of the table with 5pts, behind Wellington 14, Kapiti 10 and Manawatu 7.

The highlight for Wairarapa was the victory by O’Donovan and MacKenzie in the pairs over Kapiti with the Wairarapa duo going into the last end three shots up but finding themselves four down on the head with O’Donovan having one bowl left to play.

The experienced Featherston player elected to draw and came up with a cracker, wresting his bowl against the jack for the shot and the win.

The women’s open section was played at the Masterton club and there the Wairarapa combination of Leanne Sweeney (singles), Wendy Mitchell and Fiona Mancer (pairs) and Makaia Campbell, Dale Rowe, Theresa Hogg and Dorothy Christensen also picked up just the 5pts.

Here too Wellington topped the table with 16pts, followed by Manawatu 11, Wairarapa 5 and Kapiti 4.

Wairarapa also fielded teams in what was labelled the academy section and their best result of the day came from their women’s line-up of Jean Paku (singles), Gail Hemi and Diane Haswell (pairs) and Shirley Poutu, Janelle Frew, Mary Ashworth and Kaye Lahman (fours).

They finished second with 10pts, behind Wellington (16) and ahead of Manawatu (8) and Kapiti ( 2).

In the men’s academy division the Wairarapa squad of Matthew Day (singles), Peter Walker and Bill Isaac (pairs) and Richard Anderson, Hayden Frew, Matthew Campbell and Ronald Saunders managed just 2pts to finish last behind Manawatu 16, Wellington 14 and Kapiti 4.

Wairarapa men have been drawn in the same pool as Counties-Manukau, Thames Valley, Taranaki, Marlborough and South Canterbury for the inter-centre event while the women will front up against Auckland Northland, Hawke’s Bay, South Canterbury and Southland.

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