21-year-old Mangere Mako Taylor Horn has stamped his mark at the 2019 Summerset National Championships, taking out the coveted Men’s Singles in a commanding final performance, while Hinuera’s Debbie White crumbled with elation after clawing back a 20-11 deficit to haul the silverware high above her head in the Women’s Singles.
As the final day of post-section drew to a close, rink side spectators and Facebook followers were treated to yet another dose of pulsating action at the Carlton Cornwall greens, with more drama afloat and comebacks aplenty.
If Fabling’s unheralded comeback against McIlroy in yesterday’s semi-final was anything to go by, fellow Waikato bowler White must have learnt a thing or two, as she too staged a remarkable recovery opposite 2017 champion Goddard in Tuesday’s final showdown in a result that will be etched into the archives for many generations to follow.
Goddard, who narrowly missed the cut for World Bowls 2016, was vying for her second singles’ title in three years, playing in front of her home crowd and early indication seemed to swing the way of Goddard as she raced out to a comfortable lead, latching on to the rink in expert fashion and racing towards the finish in scintillating style.
However, White, who was channelling inspiration from her mother Jennie Simpson, a dual Commonwealth Games silver medallist, was not about to give up – reeling off an impressive 10 unanswered shots to leave the crowd stunned, rounding out a 21-20 victory and in her own words, realising “a dream come true”.
Meanwhile, Horn, who has impressed throughout the championships, backed up his consistent form opposite Fabling, closing out a composed and clinical performance 21-15 and becoming one of the youngest competitors to win such a feat to claim his first national title.
In other results, long-serving Blackjack Val Smith secured her Gold Star for five National titles, teaming with former Club Merrylands’ teammate Lisa Prideaux to clinch the Women’s Pairs final opposite the well-performed Reen Stratford and Linda Ralph – with Smith and Prideaux playing an exceptional final end to win the championship.
Across rinks, the Men’s Pairs saw Horn’s Mangere clubmates Chris Lowe and Jordan King also claim their maiden national title, seeing off a stern challenge from the vastly experienced Thames Valley duo Karl Garrett and Colin Gawith – Lowe drawing two superb shots to be crowned national champions following a burnt end by Gawith.
The victory was somewhat of a just reward for Lowe and King, who have consistently excelled in the Auckland centre for many seasons, and undoubtedly looked the strongest performed combination throughout the tournament.
Horn and White will now go on to represent New Zealand at the World Champion of Champion Singles in Adelaide later this year and will look to build on the proud successes of reigning champions Shannon McIlroy and Jo Edwards, who were both crowned earlier this season at the elite level.
Focus now will turn to the Summerset National Fours to be held in Wellington from March 1.