All to play for in final week of Bowls3Five regular season


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Caleb Hope is back in the Gore Rams triple for the final week of the regular season.

There is interest in both ends of the table heading into the final week of round-robin in the Bowls3Five televised league.

The top three sides to contest the title have yet to be confirmed, nor have the bottom three that will fight to avoid relegation.

The seventh week of competition at the New Lynn Bowling Club in Auckland will open tomorrow night (Tuesday, December 3) when the bottom of the table Parajacks play the sixth-placed Hinuera Heat.

The Parajacks have to win to keep alive their slim hopes of not being a part of the relegation playoffs, while a Hinuera win will boost the Heat’s chances of keeping their place in the league for a second season.

Both teams have made just one change to their triples, with Pam Walker replacing Lynda Bennett in the Parajacks line-up, while Paul Casey Junior returns for the national interclub champion Heat.

The second-to-bottom Pt Chevalier Pirates will then face the competition-leading Stoke Thunder in the second match of night 19.

The Pirates sit three points above the Parajacks and three points behind the Heat, and have returned to the triple that delivered them the inaugural Bowls3Five title with Alex Reed re-joining Jenny Stockford and Aiden Takarua.

The Thunder have made two changes to the line-up which helped move Stoke three points clear of the competition, with Selina Goddard and Jimmy Pugh replacing Kirsten Edwards and Robbie Reed.

Goddard returns after representing the Blackjacks at the Multi Nations and Trans Tasman.

Stoke can all but seal top spot and direct path through to the final with a straight sets win over the Pirates.

The Thunder will also play on Wednesday night against the inform Royal Oak Rockets, who only trail the third-placed Stokes Valley Vipers on shot differential and are in the running to play in the final after being in the relegation match last year.

Unsurprisingly the Rockets have named an unchanged trio of Philly Akaruru, Martin Dixon and Mike Galloway for their final two round-robin matches.

Royal Oak and Stoke will square-off in the final match of night 20, after another two crucial fixtures.

First the Heat will play the Gore Rams in a match which may decide who’s consigned to the relegation playoffs and who’s safe for another season.

Caleb Hope and Sheldon Bagrie-Howley are back from representing the New Zealand development team on the Gold Coast to join regular Gore team-mate Ashleigh Jeffcoat.

Also on Wednesday Lance Pascoe, Jan Shirley and Mandy Boyd will turn out for the Elmwood Park Saints in their match against the Parajacks.

The Saints will also play on Thursday against the Vipers, who will then meet the Rams in the second match of their double-header.

Stokes Valley have made two changes to its line-up, with Finbar McGuigan and Blake Signal returning in place of Bradley Down and Euan Wong.

The Auckland derby will close the regular season, with Royal Oak potentially vying for a top three finish, while Pt Chev may be attempting to move out of the bottom three.

All eight of this week’s games will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 9.

Bowls3Five – week seven:

Tuesday, December 3
Hinuera Heat vs Parajacks – 7:10pm
Stoke Thunder vs Pt Chevalier Pirates – 8:15pm

Wednesday, December 4
Gore Rams vs Hinuera Heat – 6pm
Elmwood Park Saints vs Parajacks – 7:10pm
Stoke Thunder vs Royal Oak Rockets – 8:15pm

Thursday, December 5
Elmwood Park Saints vs Stokes Valley Vipers – 6pm
Gore Rams vs Stokes Valley Vipers – 7:10pm
Royal Oak Rockets vs Pt Chevalier Pirates – 8:15pm