Rozanna Muriwai won two of her three singles matches. PHOTOS/FILE
The Wairarapa women came close to qualifying for the National Intercentre Finals, finishing second at the regional playoffs in Hastings on Sunday.
Wairarapa and Gisborne East Coast went into the final round neck and neck, ensuring that the winner of their clash would head to the nationals in North Harbour in October.
Gisborne East Coast proved too strong in the ‘final’, winning the singles 25-10, the pairs 16-11, and the fours 15-10, for a 3-0 clean sweep.
Wairarapa started the competition with a tough 2-1 win over Hawke’s Bay. Rozanna Muriwai held on for a tense 25-24 victory in the singles, while the four of Tanya Wheeler, Stacey Smyth, Janalle Frew, and Mary-Ann Wilson battled to a 12-10.
Muriwai and the Wheeler four were also to the fore in the upset 2-1 win over Manawatu. Muriwai won 25-20 and the four claimed a 16-7 victory.
The only blip over the three rounds was the experienced pair of Makaia Campbell and Wendy Mitchell, who struggled with the indoor artificial greens all day, losing all three matches.
Selector Wheeler was rapt with the performance over the three rounds.
“We were so close to winning and it would’ve been great to qualify, but to beat Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay was a great effort,” said Wheeler.
The men’s singles and pairs won two of their three games as the team finished third in the National Intercentre regional playoffs at Hastings on Saturday.
Wairarapa suffered 1-2 losses to Gisborne East Coast and Hawke’s Bay before finishing on a high with 2-1 win over Manawatu.
Aaron Love impressed in the singles, bouncing back from losing his first-round game with Gisborne East Coast 12-25, to beat Hawke’s Bay 25-13, and Manawatu 25-9.
The pair of Clint Carroll and Mark O’Brien defeated Gisborne East Coast and went down 23-13 to Hawke’s Bay, before Hayden Frew replaced O’Brien for a one-shot victory [16-15] in the third-round defeat of Manawatu.
The four of Garry Muriwai, Scott Mackenzie, Bill Brunenberg, and Gavin Hamlyn failed to fire, losing all three games.
Hawke’s Bay were unbeaten in qualifying for the nationals, while Manawatu edged Wairarapa for second on a countback of games won.