Getting the action underway, week three saw the return of Pt Chevalier’s top prospect Aiden Takarua, this time slotting in at two, with his Pirates’ side of Kevin Morris and Angela Temple wasting little time to find their champion groove – putting the Gore Rams to the sword in straight sets, 7-2, 6-4.
In similar fate, the Stokes Valley Vipers comprising Blackjack Seamus Curtin back at skip, former world champion Blake Signal at two and the ever-consistent Nicole Toomey off the front, overpowered Mike Galloway’s Royal Oak Rockets, defeating the Auckland-based side 5-3, 6-1, and leaving the anchored at the bottom of the competition.
In contrasting fortune, the Vipers’ victory means they now sit at the top of the table, though with Gary Lawson’s unbeaten Elmwood Park Saints arriving back at New Lynn this week, expect a strong contest between the sides as they continue to bid for top spot after week three as the Saints line up three fixtures across two nights.
Remember, if you missed any of the action in tonight’s match-ups, catch the highlights reel and scheduled replays throughout the week (check Sky Sport schedule for times).
Returning to the New Lynn rink after a week away, double world champion Gary Lawson and his troops of seven-time national champion Mandy Boyd and seasoned campaigner Kelvin Scott continued their winning ways, overcoming a strong contest with the Gore Rams in game one, taking out the tie-break end after dropping the second set, 3-6.
Remaining on the rink, the Rams bounced back in fine style – opting to switch skipper Sheldon Bagrie-Howley and Caleb Hope around, the move proving a stroke of genius as they immediately clicked and romped home in straight sets with lead Ashleigh Jeffcoat providing a strong platform off the front.
Keeping the Hinuera Heat scoreless in the first set, the Rams fired nine unanswered shots against Stu Settle, Bev Corbett and Paul Casey Jr, by their own admission beginning to show glimpses of last season’s form where they finished runner-up.
The final game of the night saw the Stokes Valley Vipers extend their lead at the top of the table, with Blackjack Seamus Curtin, former Blackjack Blake Signal and New Zealand Talent Development squad member Nicole Toomey putting on a masterclass exhibition against the Pt Chevalier Pirates – comfortably securing the three points in straight sets, 8-3, 7-1.
Signal, who is based at the Nelson Bay Bowling Club in Australia, was in sensational form, consistently adding to the head and ably supported by Curtin, who often dealt some killer blows opposite Kevin Morris.
With two more games tomorrow night for the Elmwood Park Saints, will Lawson’s trio jump ahead of the Vipers and continue their unbeaten run?
In the first twist of this season’s tale, the previously unbeaten Elmwood Park Saints came unstuck against both of their opponents in the opening two games of the night’s action on the final night of week three.
With the absence of world singles champion Shannon McIlroy for the Stoke Thunder, Peter Hodson, Robbie Reed and in-form Blackjack Selina Goddard stepped up to the mark and proved the first team to tip the Saints up, Goddard leading exceptionally to set up a straight sets win, 9-4, 7-7.
Playing the final end and with the score at 7-5 in favour of the Saints for the second set, a PowerPlay special from Hodson saw him drive the opposition’s bowl clean off the head to sit with one, eventuating as enough to draw level on 7-7 and take the three points.
Looking to bounce back in the second match-up, the Saints then fell victim to the Hinuera Heat in a tie-break thriller, Stu Settle, Bev Corbett and Paul Casey Jr winning the first set 7-4, before the Saint’s came charging back with a 7-2 second set win and the Heat then emerging winners on the sudden death decider, 1-0.
Taking full advantage of the Saint’s dropping points for the first time in the competition, the Thunder returned to the rink to take on the Royal Oak Rockets in the final game of the evening.
Facing a new line-up that saw the introduction of lead James Gavin and skip John Carruthers, the Rockets came out firing to take a 9-1 first set win and hold momentum heading into set two. However, Hodson, Reed and Goddard once again combined well to close out the second set 7–2, before taking maximum points for the night with a comfortable 4-0 win in the tie-breaker.
The wins now see Thunder move one game ahead of the Stokes Valley Vipers, with the Saints’ no doubt already planning their comeback for week four as the competition creeps towards the half way mark.
Bowls3Five LIVE will return next Tuesday from 7pm on Sky Sport NZ, (Ch.59), but in the meantime if you happened to have missed any of the action this week, be sure to catch the highlight reels and replays on Sky Sport (check schedule for times)