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Martinborough seals spot in the nationals

Makaia Campbell skipped the pair for Martinborough. PHOTOS/FILE


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Martinborough pulled off a major upset to qualify for the national women’s interclub finals.

The Wairarapa interclub sevens champions headed off some of the strongest clubs in the lower North Island at last Sunday’s regional playoffs at the Kia Toa Bowling Club, Hastings.

They finished first on a countback of shots after they tied with Napier on matches and games won.

Rozanna Muriwai was unbeaten at the regional interclub playoffs.

Martinborough started with a 2-1 defeat of Napier. Rozanna Muriwai won her singles 21-7 and the four of Tanya Wheeler [skip], Janalle Frew, Maryanne Ashworth, and Helen Baker won 17-14. The pair of Makaia Campbell [skip] and Mary-Ann Wilson suffered a 17-20 loss.

Martinborough came up against the powerful Takaro club from Palmerston North in the second round and made no race of it, winning all three matches.

Muriwai won the singles 21-10, Campbell and Ashworth won the pairs 21-14, and the Wheeler four triumphed 22-9.

In the final round, Muriwai completed a superb unbeaten tournament with a 21-13 win, but losses in the pairs [14-20], and fours [9-17] against Poverty Bay, and a 2-1 win by Napier over Takaro, ensured that the winners would be decided on countback.

Martinborough and Napier finished on four match points each, and six games apiece, meaning it would be decided on shot differential.

Martinborough finished on plus 29, and Napier’s was plus 23.

Wheeler said there were some nerves going into the final round, but they knew they had a buffer of several shots should the outcome be determined on countback.

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It all depended on the result of the Napier-Takaro clash, with Napier needing a clean sweep to advance.

A 23-12 win by Takaro over Napier in the pairs left Napier and Martinborough tied at the top, enough to give the South Wairarapa club the victory.

Martinborough will now play against the five other regional winners in November’s national finals.

The Martinborough men went close to emulating the women, finishing an agonising second to Hastings.

The first-round clash with Hastings proved crucial, with the home side winning all three disciplines.

Martinborough bounced back to beat Palmerston North 2-1 with wins in the singles [21-4] and fours [18-12] and a narrow 15-16 defeat in the pairs.

Martinborough went into the final round needing to beat Gisborne and hoping that Palmerston North could upset Hastings.

Martinborough won 2½ to ½, with a 12-5 win in the pairs, a 9-1 victory in the fours, and a 13-13 draw in the singles, but Hastings had a clean sweep in their fixture to progress to the nationals.

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