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Frew fires in close final

A late decision to enter the Wairarapa Men’s Open Singles paid off for Hayden Frew, who won his first open single title in a thrilling final at Greytown on Sunday.

Frew held off a strong challenge from Featherston veteran Les O’Donovan, the winner of numerous Wairarapa Centre titles, to take the championship honours with a 21–19 victory.

The Martinborough bowler admitted, though, that the win came as a surprise as he didn’t expect to get as far as the final, mainly because singles is not a discipline he usually plays.

“I wasn’t maybe going to enter that competition, but I thought I could do with the practice because I don’t generally play a lot of singles. I’m normally put in other positions, but I really enjoyed it having the four bowls,” Frew said.

Wins over Jimmy Scott [21–11] in the first round of post-section play, best mate Scott Mackenzie [21–6] in the quarterfinals, and Mathew Day [21–13] in the semifinals set up the decider with O’Donovan, who had dispatched Andrew Gardner [21–13], Gavin Hamlyn [21–20], and former international Philip Skoglund [21–5] on the way to the final.

In a see-sawing final, Frew did enough at the crucial times and held on for a deserved victory in the Chapelli’s Pizzeria and Bar – Wairarapa Village sponsored event.

“The lead was changing quite a bit, and it was a very close game, and it could have gone either way, but Les is a legend because he’s won so many of those titles, and he’s hard to beat.”

The victory is Frew’s second open championship victory to go with an open pairs title he won with Mackenzie. The pair will again combine for next month’s open pairs to be played on the first weekend of March.

Before then, Frew and Mackenzie will join Scott Roddick from Wellington and Stewart Campbell from Featherston to contest the National Fours Championship in New Plymouth starting on Friday.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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