Adding New Zealand development representatives Ashleigh Jeffcoat and Kimberley Hemingway to their mix paid dividends for the Naenae pairing of Lisa White and Jessie Macaw, combining to take out the 2019 Naenae Women’s Invitational Classic on home turf.
Held in Lower Hutt, a field of high profile names, including former, present and future New Zealand internationals, took to the greens in a format that hosts all of the disciplines across six split rounds, over two days.
After day’s one play, four teams remained on equal points – failing to drop a game after two rounds of fours and two rounds of pairs in what proved, at times, windy conditions.
Those leading the way included Jeffcoat and her side, Allenton’s Sandra Keith, Rosemary Bennett, Wendy Watson and Sandra Holdom, Maree Gadsby, Gloria Shaw, Vickie Kelly and Faye Gesce and Camilla Leung’s Hong Kong China internationals Elisa To, Celena Kwok and Naenae local Anne Gately.
Day two’s proceedings saw Gadsby’s charges drop out of contention after losing several key games, though all eyes were on Jeffcoat, Leung and Keith – with all team combinations remaining steady heading into the final two rounds.
Alas, a heroic performance from Island Bay local Anne Basile saw former world champion of champion singles winner Keith beaten 19-18, with Jeffcoat’s four able to take advantage of the lost points and close the tournament out by the narrowest of margins.
A loss to Leung’s singles representative ensured Keith’s quartet finished second, while the Hong Kong China line-up rounded out third place.
Last year’s winners Audrey Stevenson, Rochelle Stevenson, Ronnie Crone and Eileen Jones charged up the leader board on day two, though an early round loss in the pairs and a later loss in the triples saw them remain just outside of the leading pack, closing out fourth position.
Marking their consistency in this event, both Jeffcoat and Hemingway were in the runner-up four last year, joining Tanya Wheeler and Fiona McKinley – on that occasion, the composite missing out on top spot by a matter of differential.
For White, who is also the tournament organiser and will feature in the Stokes Valley Vipers Bowls3Five contingent later next month on Sky Sport, the tournament is here to stay.
“We’re really happy with how everything went this weekend, the feedback has been really positive and the tournament is definitely here to stay.
“It’s a quality field and it was great seeing our visitors enjoying themselves . . . most ladies got up to have a sing and a dance, it was great to see. I’m expecting this tournament to get bigger and better every year,” White said.
The win also proved a great dress rehearsal for the composite four, with White confirming the same team will take to the Tauranga greens in February for the Summerset National Fours.
Results at a Glance
2019 Naenae Women’s Invitational Classic
Naenae B.C, Lower Hutt
Ashleigh Jeffcoat, Lisa White, Jessie Macaw, Kimberley Hemingway (composite) – 48pts
Sandra Keith, Rosemary Bennett, Wendy Watson, Sandra Keith (Allenton) – 44pts (+88 dif)
Camilla Leung, Elisa To, Anne Gately, Celena Kwok (Hong Kong China) – 44pts (+41 dif)
by Sam Morton