As the road to the final four continues to unwind throughout the country, Onehunga & Districts have joined the race defeating Counties representatives Papakura in the National Bowls3Five Interclub competition, 2-1.
With the last eight now found in the competition, the next round will reveal the top four sides that will descend on Lower Hutt to play a round-robin format at Naenae Bowling Club in a bid to win a place in the SKY Sport televised Bowls3Five league for the 2019 season.
Unlike their opposition, the Onehunga contingent found themselves automatically advancing to the last 16, following a win in the fiercely contested Auckland event – defeating a line-up put forward from the reigning champions, Point Chevalier.
An earlier match-up saw Papakura take on Thames Valley hopefuls Waihi Beach RSA, with a tie break win enough to separate the sides in a thrilling 2-1 contest in favour of the Aucklanders.
Spearheaded by former New Zealand representative Danny Delany and Auckland senior reps Agnes Motu, Kirsty Hill and Mike Bradshaw, the last 16 action saw Onehunga & Districts power to a quarter-finals berth, defeating Papakura 8-2, 8-3 in one game and 4-4, 5-4 in another to seal the victory, narrowly losing the third game by a solitary point in each set.
The Onehunga line-up comprises Delany, Motu, Graham King, Joe Whitelaw, Maria Smith, Paul Mii, Wayne Motu, Hill and Bradshaw.
Team manager (Agnes) Motu was full of praise for her team and said the games had been played in great spirit throughout the competition.
“The Bowls3Five is something we’ve been looking forward to every time we’ve had to front up. Everyone has adapted to the concept of the game and we’re all having a great time playing it,” she said.
“We’re congratulating each other and supporting each other wherever we can and so far, it’s been a great team effort.”
Onehunga & Districts will now go on to play North Harbour champions Riverhead, who last week continued their winning ways, defeating Far North travellers Kensington to keep their title hopes alive.
“We’re looking forward to the next round. To this point, we’ve taken one game at a time and after the last game we said to each other, ‘we’ve got one foot on the plane to Wellington’, but now it’s time to get the other foot on there too,” Motu laughed.
The quarter-final opposite Riverhead will take place at the Carlton Cornwall Bowling Club, day and time TBC.
National Bowls3Five – Last 16 – Onehunga & Districts (Auckland) vs Papakura (Counties Manukau)
Onehunga & Districts d Papakura; 2-1
Onehunga & Districts team line-up
Danny Delany, Agnes Motu, Graham King
Joe Whitelaw, Maria Smith, Paul Mii
Wayne Motu, Kirsty Hill, Mike Bradshaw