Well what an opening night of Bowls3FIVE LIVE that was!
An opening round loss to last year’s runner-ups (Gore Rams), the Royal Oak Rockets came out firing to win both sets and officially launch the action for 2019. Next up, the NZCT sponsored Bowls New Zealand Parajacks sounded early warning signals, beating the reigning champions (Pt Chevalier Pirates) and backing up their pre-campaign promise that they aren’t there to make up the numbers.
Congratulations to the Royal Oak Rockets and the Parajacks on making a winning start to the competition.
In the first tie-breaker of this year’s action, the Elmwood Park Saints did enough to register a debut win out the blocks, defeating a talented Stokes Valley Vipers trio in a great first round exhibition.
Game two saw the Gore Rams bounce back in fine style opposite the Parajacks, taking both sets and setting their campaign back on track.
Taking to the rink again for the final game of the night, the Saints didn’t miss a beat in the opening set against reigning champions (Point Chevalier Pirates), in fact picking up a full count of six to run away with the first set 8-2.
Not ones to back down, the Pirates turned the tables, picking up a solid four count on their PowerPlay and closing out the second set 12-3. However, a final bowl from Blackjack Gary Lawson saw the Pirates’ shot-holding bowl swiftly removed from the head, gifting the Cantabrians an unbeaten start.
Thursday night will see the last three games of week one play out, with Stoke Thunder taking on the last of the three teams to debut in this edition, (Hinuera Heat), the Vipers back in action against the Thunder and the Royal Oak Rockets looking to continue their winning ways as they attempt to temper the Heat.
Congratulations to the Elmwood Park Saints and the Gore Rams for their respective wins on night two.
Getting their competition off to a winning start, the Stoke Thunder edged past the Hinuera Heat, the Waikato based side on debut following their impressive win in last season’s National Bowls3Five Interclub. With fan favourite Jimmy Pugh setting a solid foundation off the front, both Kirsten Edwards and Blackjack identity Shannon McIlroy ably assisted, rounding out a tie-break win for the Nelsonians.
Heading back to the action for game two, the Stokes Valley Vipers registered their first win on the league table, silencing the Thunder in a hard-fought tie break finish, with McIlroy’s fellow Blackjack Seamus Curtin adding the crucial final bowl on several key occasions for the Vipers.
The final game of the evening saw the Heat bounce back in fine fashion, dominating the first set opposite the Royal Oak Rockets, before rounding out their first win, closing out the second set in equally commanding style.
At the conclusion of week one, only the Elmwood Park Saints remain unbeaten after two games, with Blackjack skipper Gary Lawson spearheading a vastly experienced line-up of Kelvin Scott and seven-time national champion Mandy Boyd in a combination that looks tough to overcome.
Tune in next week on Sky Sport 9 (Ch.59), with the action getting back underway on Tuesday.