Last year’s Bowls3Five finalists trying to keep pace

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A grand final rematch opens week three of the second Bowls3Five televised league season.

The defending champion Pt Chevalier Pirates will square-off against last year’s runners-up the Gore Rams at the New Lynn Bowling Club in Auckland tomorrow night (Tuesday, November 5).

The Pirates have won all three previous meetings against the Rams, including the dramatic tie-breaker end victory in their last meeting in the inaugural season decider.

It shapes as an important week for both sides.

The Pirates have just one win from their opening four matches and also face the Stokes Valley Vipers on Wednesday night, while the Rams will play a further two times, against the Elmwood Park Saints and Hinuera Heat, also on Wednesday, as they endeavour to keep in touch with the early pace setters.

The second match of night seven will see the Royal Oak Rockets face Stokes Valley in a replay of last year’s fourth place playoff.

The Rockets have named an unchanged trio, with Tere Tuaiti, Martin Dixon and Mike Galloway to again play for Royal Oak, while the Vipers will field another new-look triple, with former Blackjack Blake Signal to make his first appearance of the season alongside Nicole Toomey and Seamus Curtin.

Royal Oak will also play the Stoke Thunder in the final match of the week on Thursday night. The Thunder have made one major change to their team, with Robbie Reed to replace world singles champion Shannon McIlroy.

It means there will be no match-up between McIlroy and fellow Blackjack Gary Lawson when the Thunder meet Lawson’s Elmwood Park Saints, also on Thursday.

Having played just three games over the opening six nights of competition, the unbeaten Saints will play three times this week, starting with Gore on Wednesday night and finishing with Hinuera on Thursday.

Sue Crackett, Paul Casey Junior and Gerard Slattery will again suit up for the Heat for their matches against the Rams and Saints.

The Parajacks are not featuring this week, as the Disabled Nationals are taking place at the Kaiapoi Bowling Club in Canterbury.

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

Bowls3Five – week three:

Tuesday, November 5
Gore Rams vs Pt Chevalier Pirates – 7:10pm
Royal Oak Rockets vs Stokes Valley Vipers – 8:15pm

Wednesday, November 6
Elmwood Park Saints vs Gore Rams  – 6pm
Hinuera Heat vs Gore Rams – 7:10pm
Pt Chevalier Pirates vs Stokes Valley Vipers – 8:15pm

Thursday, November 7
Elmwood Park Saints vs Stoke Thunder – 6pm
Hinuera Heat vs Elmwood Park Saints – 7:10pm
Royal Oak Rockets vs Stoke Thunder 8:15pm