Gary Lawson has narrowly avoided an early exit from the men’s pairs, keeping alive his quest to win three straight Summerset National titles with three different playing partners.
The record-setting 13-time national champion and Jamie Hill (Eastbourne) have needed to beat Nick Thompson and Graham Growcott (Composite) in their final match of section play in Auckland to qualify for the knockout rounds.
They eventually prevailed 15-11 to knock out Thompson and Growcott in the process.
Bowls3Five winners Aiden Takarua and Alex Reed (Point Chevalier) also squeezed through.
They won all three of their matches today (January 4) to advance with the minimum of four wins, as did fellow youngsters Sheldon Bagrie-Howley and Seamus Curtin (Composite) and 2015 champions Rob Ashton and Petar Sain (Carlton Cornwall).
Mike Galloway and Martin Dixon (Royal Oak), Richard Girvan and Chris Le Lievre (Composite), Dean Elgar and Gerry O’Sullivan (Composite), Maurice Symes and Tony Grantham (Composite) and brothers Logan and Brady Amer (Johnsonville) were five of the 12 unbeaten pairings in section play, while Shannon McIlroy and Justin Goodwin (Composite) dropped just one match en route to post-section play.
Ashleigh Jeffcoat (Carlton Cornwall) and Dale Rayner (Johnsonville) have bounced back from their disappointment in the women’s pairs to emphatically progress to post-section play in the women’s singles.
They have both gone through section play unbeaten to book a place in the knockout rounds.
Jeffcoat’s Carlton Cornwall club-mates Estelle Hickey and Jill Fraser have also taken advantage of the chance of being able to play on their home greens to advance without dropping a match.
Another Carlton Cornwall player, 2017 champion Selina Goddard, has also progressed from her section at Howick with a perfect record.
Blackjack Val Smith (United), Sarah Scott (Te Rangi), Wendy Jensen (Orewa) and Nicole Toomey (Victoria) are amongst others to emerge unbeaten, while past and present internationals Kirsten Edwards (Stoke) and Tayla Bruce (Burnside) have qualified the hard way.
Edwards and Bruce have both had to win their fourth and final matches in section play to advance, but have done so in comprehensive fashion.
Edwards’ mum Leigh Griffin (Victoria), the 2015 winner, has also progressed with three wins from four, but Bowls3Five winner Jenny Stockford (Point Chevalier) is out after losing her final match.
Post-section play gets underway tomorrow (January 5), with knock-out action in the men’s singles and women’s pairs, with the finals on Tuesday (January 8).
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