Hinuera have charged in to the final four of the National Bowls3Five Interclub, handing Aramoho their first loss of the competition in an exhibition-like quarter-final.
Held at the Paritutu Bowling Club in New Plymouth, both sides travelled to neutral territory in a bid to advance to the round-robin playoffs at Naenae later this month, with the Hinuera contingent winning through in a thrilling final bowl encounter.
Previous wins for Hinuera have seen the side of Stu Settle, Bev Corbett, Paul Casey Jr, Kevin Smith, Bruce Milne, Debbie White, Gerrard Slattery, Gaylene Harvey and John Kanawa post victory over Bay of Plenty hopefuls, Ngongotaha, while Aramoho halted in their tracks to advance to the last eight.
Settle, Corbett and Casey Jr wasted no time in collecting their match-up in straight sets, placing all focus on the action unfolding on the adjacent rinks.
Smith, Milne and White found themselves in a drawn set opposite their opponents, needing one shot on their final end power play in the second set to secure an early trip to the bar.
However, an unfortunate result saw Smith’s last bowl make the connection he needed for the win, though with the jack ricocheting off a bowl, the end was killed and Aramoho drew the series level with a 1.5/0.5 victory.
Meanwhile, all eyes were on Slattery, Harvey and Kanawa, who despite losing their first set, bounced back in impressive fashion to win the second and force the action to a tie-break, winner takes all showdown.
A pinpoint drive from Aramoho skipper Keith Slight removed all counting bowls from Hinuera and saw the Wanganui contingent packing their bags for Naenae – though, with around three metres to draw the winning shot, it would have been short lived – with the Hinuera skipper resting a matter of feet away to secure the top four placing and send the Hinny supporters into a frenzy.
Hinuera will now join Central Otago’s Alexandra and North Harbour’s Riverhead in the final four at Naenae Bowling Club later this month, with the winner of Blenheim vs Takaro yet to be determined.
The winner of the Naenae round-robin contest will join the televised Bowls3Five league next season, replacing the relegated Woodend Jets.
National Bowls3Five Interclub Quarter-final (Aramoho vs Hinuera)
Hinuera d Aramoho; 2-1
Hinuera team line-up
Stu Settle, Bev Corbett, Paul Casey Jr
Kevin Smith, Bruce Milne, Debbie White
Gerrard Slattery, Gaylene Harvey, John Kanawa