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Wairarapa struggle at Octagonals

Scott Mackenzie … two wins in the singles. PHOTOS/FILE

BOWLS

CHRIS COGDALE
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Makaia Campbell and the women’s four were the two shining lights for Wairarapa teams at the lower North Island octagonal tournaments played in Kapiti over the weekend.

The women’s team finished seventh of the eight teams at Paraparaumu, while the men were eighth and last in their tournament at Levin. The powerful Wellington teams won both tournaments.

Campbell led the way for the women in the singles with a commanding performance over the first two days on Friday and Saturday going unbeaten with four wins and a draw.

The Masterton bowler continued her good form, which had her claim her third consecutive Wairarapa Open singles title, with wins over Manawatu, Whanganui, Taranaki, Kapiti, and a draw with Wellington.

Campbell dropped her first game on Sunday against Gisborne-East Coast, before being moved to the four for the final round.

Rozanna Muriwai switched to the singles for the final round and put up a solid effort before going down to her Hawke’s Bay opponent by one shot.

Selector Tanya Wheeler skips four to two wins and the triple to one.

The four, skipped by selector Tanya Wheeler, were also unbeaten after the first two days, with wins over Hawke’s Bay, Whanganui, and Wellington, and draws with Manawatu and Taranaki.

That had Wairarapa in fourth place with two rounds to play on Sunday, but they could muster only one further win, in the pairs over Taranaki.

Wheeler said the overall result wasn’t a true reflection of some of the games.

“There were a couple of bad rounds, but that was when we were trying out different combinations,” she said.

“We are lacking just one higher level player, like a skip, so unfortunately our triple was left a little bit weak, so I went over and skipped them for one game, and we won, and we swapped the pair around a bit and they had a couple of wins.

“We had a chance to mix the teams up, and I think that’s what the weekend gave us. There was a bit of trial and error along the way, but we probably found some good combinations.”

Wairarapa finished sixth-equal on points with Gisborne-East Coast but had an inferior shot differential.

The men disappointed in trailing the field with only five wins and two draws.

Scott Mackenzie had two wins over Manawatu and Kapiti, and the John Claydon-skipped four triumphed over Hawke’s Bay and Kapiti and drew with Whanganui.

The pair recorded the only other points with a victory over Hawke’s Bay, and a draw with Whanganui.

Selector Warren Fisher said the team played all right at times, but the others were just too good.

“We were able to change teams around and experiment, and that’s exactly what we did.

“We found a few new combinations that seemed to work towards the end.”

The Wairarapa squads will now be reduced to eight players for the national intercentre championships to be played in Wellington in mid-March.

Octagonal tournament points

MEN: Wellington 21.5; Manawatu 19; Taranaki 16.5; Whanganui 13.5; Gisborne-East Coast 13; Hawke’s Bay 12; Kapiti Coast 10.5; Wairarapa 6.

WOMEN: Wellington 19.5; Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay 16.5; Kapiti Coast 13.5; Gisborne-East Coast, Wairarapa 11.5; Whanganui 10.

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