Martinborough skip Gary Muriwai delivers the last bowl in the national Champion of Champion fours final at Hastings. PHOTOS/BOWLSNZ
The Martinborough men’s four came within a whisker of adding a second national champion of champions title to the club’s trophy cabinet, losing a close final 18-17 to Paritutu from New Plymouth on Sunday.
Heading into the last end of the final in the Hastings Indoor Arena, the Martinborough combination of Gary Muriwai, Mark O’Brien [a late replacement for Bill Brunenberg because of covid-19], Scott MacKenzie, and Hayden Frew trailed 15-18 and needed three shots to force an extra end, or four shots to pull off a remarkable comeback victory.
Martinborough held two shots, and Muriwai had a chance with his last bowl to draw four shots, but his bowl just missed the mark.
MacKenzie said they were pleased to be in the hunt on the final end, but ultimately prior errors were costly.
“We probably weren’t tight enough earlier than that,” he said.
“We probably should’ve done it, we bowled well enough in all but two ends, so we just let ourselves on two ends and dropped two fives, which was not ideal.
“When we look back, we all bowled pretty well all weekend and we’re happy to get a silver medal for sure — it’s a national championship.”
The final was the second champion of champions finals appearance for the club, after Tanya Wheeler won the singles title at the same Hastings venue earlier this month.
“It is a huge thrill, especially after Tanya winning gold — that gave us all a boost of confidence to say that we can do it too, and we went up with that attitude and just about did it,” he said.
“Team Marty is fantastic. We had the loudest supporters there, and probably the most supporters — it was awesome.”
Martinborough qualified for post section play with three wins from four games.
In the quarter-final they beat Omarunui [Napier] 17-16 and then made the decider with a 13-10 semifinal victory over Tauranga South.
Wheeler continued her good form, skipping the women’s four to three wins from four games to qualify for post-section.
The team of Wheeler, Janalle Frew, Yvonne Riley, and Rozanna Muriwai, narrowly missed progressing to the semifinals, losing 12-10 to Kensington from Whangarei.