Riverhead Bowling Club will be showing their wares on the national Bowls3Five play-offs stage, following an impressive win over the star-studded Onehunga & Districts line-up in a gripping quarter-final.
Hosted at the Carlton Cornwall Club in perfect conditions, both Riverhead and Onehunga & Districts came head to head in a battle of the North Harbour champions playing the Auckland champions.
Previous fixtures had seen the Onehunga contingent take care of Papakura, while Riverhead did the damage opposite Kensington in a straight sets victory on two counts last month.
The quarter-finals action saw Riverhead’s Grant Goodwin, Lauren Mills and third year bowler Zaylin Ross close out the first win of the competition, defeating former New Zealand representative Danny Delany, Agnes Motu and Graham King in straight sets.
Goodwin’s side started the contest with a 5-2 opening set win, before going on to capitalise on their powerplay in the second set, collecting an eight count and pushing them out to an unassailable lead with only one end left to play.
Across rinks, Duane McDonald, Robyn Reihana and David Ross were in equally commanding form, taking out the first set 6-5, before securing the second required win following a last-gasp miss from Onehunga’s skipper Wayne Motu, to draw the second set 4-4.
The other match-up between Riverhead’s Steve Cox, Gordan Smith and Marion Hakaraia up against Joe Whitelaw, Maria Smith and Neville Hill finished before time with no winner determined, though any result would have been purely academic with Riverhead confirmed winners of the top of the north clash.
Riverhead, with a playing roster of less than 25 members, will now join Hinuera and Alexandra in the National Bowls3Five Interclub round-robin playoffs later this month, where the top four teams around the country will compete for a place in the televised Bowls3Five league next season.
The National Bowls3Five Interclub playoffs will take place at the Naenae Bowling Club in Lower Hutt on April 28.
National Bowls3Five Interclub Quarter-final (Onehunga & Districts vs Riverhead)
Riverhead d Onehunga & Districts; 2-0
Riverhead team line-up
Grant Goodwin, Lauren Mills, Zaylin Ross
Steve Cox, Gordan Smith, Marion Hakaraia
Duane McDonald, David Ross, Robyn Reihana