The composite Auckland pairing of Scott Harrison and Esther Eu capped off another remarkable win over the weekend, taking out the Ryman Healthcare Open 2-4-2 Mixed Pairs for the second successive year.
The 2020 event, which attracted 88 combinations from all parts of Auckland and further afield, was held over three days at Howick, Royal Oak, Glen Eden, Papatoetoe Hunters Cnr, Blockhouse Bay and Te Atatu Peninsula – with all finals action commencing at Howick.
With the weather playing its part, two days of qualifying set apart the section winners and next best qualifiers, comprising a post-section draw of 32 teams.
From there, 32 qualifiers are drawn in to eight sections of four, with a round robin of three games playing out to find the top eight.
Left standing in the quarter-finals were Carlton Cornwall’s Petar Sain and Helen Blick, New Lynn’s Olivia Bloomfield and Pat Bell, Royal Oak’s Claire Tawharu and James Gavin, composite pairing Steve Hoeft and Jacqui Broderson, Birkenhead’s Peter Nathan and Milika Nathan, composite Mark Hall and Hetty Bolscher, Royal Oak’s David Akaruru and Philly Akaruru and Harrison and Eu.
The semi-finals saw Harrison and Eu overcome the composite duo of Hall and Bolscher, 17-11, while the Royal Oak pairing of Tawharu and Gavin proved too strong for Bloomfield and Bell, 24-7.
In pleasant, though breezy conditions on the Howick green, the final saw the reigning champion combination of Harrison and Eu race out to a 12-2 lead in a sixteen-end format, comfortably controlling play and scoring steadily throughout.
A determined comeback from the Royal Oak hopefuls on the final four ends saw the scores draw closer, though a solitary shot on the penultimate end for Harrison and Eu all but sealed the match – with Gavin and Tawharu left to chase four to force an extra end.
With two last gasp efforts from Gavin failing to execute a kill, Harrison and Eu secured their second successive win of the event, 13-10 – proving a star combination and backing up last year’s efforts in style.
Meanwhile, across rinks, former New Zealand representative Danny Delany and Royal Oak clubmate Kirsty Hill took out the Plate event, defeating the Pt Chevalier Pirates’ pairing of Alex Reed and Jenny Stockford, 15-13.
The win saw Harrison and Eu collect the winners’ cheque of $1500, while Gavin and Tawharu secured $700 for their runner-up effort. Meanwhile, Delany and Hill took out $400 for winning the Plate, with Reed and Stockford securing $200 for runner-up.
All beaten semi-finalists in the main event received $300 per team, while beaten semi-finalists in the Plate event received $100.
The Ryman Healthcare Open 2-4-2 Pairs, which is now endorsed as a Bowls NZ Summer of Bowls competition, will return in January, 2021.
Results at a Glance
2020 Ryman Healthcare Open 2-4-2 Mixed Pairs, Auckland
Harrison, Eu d Tawharu, Gavin; 13-10
Tawharu, Gavin d Bloomfield, Bell; 24-7
Harrison, Eu d Hall, Bolscher; 17-11
Olivia Bloomfield, Pat Bell (New Lynn) d Petar Sain, Helen Blick (Carlton Cornwall); 17-9
Claire Tawharu, James Gavin (Royal Oak) d Steve Hoeft, Jacqui Broderson (composite); 14-11
Scott Harrison, Ester Eu (composite) d Peter Nathan, Milika Nathan (Birkenhead); 15-3
Mark Hall, Hetty Bolscher (composite) d David Akaruru, Philly Akaruru (Royal Oak); 23-11
Hill, Delany d Reed, Stockford; 15-13
Hill, Delany d Fraser, Sokol; 16-15
Reed, Stockford d Walker, Crowe; 21-9
Jill Fraser, Mladen Sokol (composite) d Agnes Motu, Mike Bradshaw (Royal Oak); 16-13
Kirsty Hill, Danny Delany (Royal Oak) d Rachel Hancock, Warwick Frederikson (New Lynn); 23-11
Ted Walker, Bev Crowe (Carlton Cornwall) d Tere Tuaiti, Luka Mataora (Bridge Park); 13-8
Alex Reed, Jenny Stockford (Pt Chevalier) d Sue Curran, Graeme Bennett (St Heliers); 25-5
by Sam Morton