National Masters’ champions emerge on Finals Day

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It was double delight for Alexandra’s Trevor Drake on Friday, taking out both the Mixed Pairs and Men’s Pairs title at the 2020 Bowls North Harbour NZ Masters.

Played at the Birkenhead greens, finals day saw this year’s champions emerge in the various categories, with the 60-74 disciplines also including the women’s pairs, men’s and women’s fours, while the 75 and over categories were contested in the men’s pairs and mixed pairs.

The five-day event, endorsed as a major part of the Bowls New Zealand Summer of Bowls programme, attracted eligible players from all areas of the country, with some top combinations in action towards the business end of the tournament.

Taking out the first title of the event, Drake combined with fellow clubmate and Central Otago representative Linley O’Callaghan to secure the mixed pairs silverware, defeating New Zealand head coach and selector Peter Belliss and life partner Reen Stratford in an extra end thriller, 15-14.

Hours later the smile got even wider for Drake, this time combining with another fellow Central Otago representative Lindsay Thomas to edge the men’s pairs gold medal, defeating top local hopes Bruce McClintock and Walter Howden in a hard fought victory, collecting three on the final end to cross the line, 10-8.

Mixed Pairs and Consolation Pairs medallists.

Across rinks, there were hugs all round as the Gayle Melrose skipped composite of Ruth Lynch, Marilyn Constantine and Mary Campbell held their nerve to take out the women’s fours, despite a courageous fightback from Elaine McClintock’s four of Kerin Roberts, Christeen Dalzell and Jan Harrison.

Edging out to a healthy 6-0 lead after three ends, Melrose and team looked to be controlling proceedings. However, a four count on the fourth end fired McClintock’s side back in to the contest, later building on their newfound momentum to take the lead, 11-7 after nine ends.

Though despite McClintock’s best efforts on the twelfth and final end, it was the bowl of Lynch that remained closest at the completion of play, deciding the fixture by a single point and prompting deserved applause from spectators and club supporters alike, 12-11.

The win proved a special moment for Lynch, who was picked from the audience as an urgent replacement for the Melrose side, with the victory also marking her birthday.

Men’s and Women’s Fours medallists.

Meanwhile, the women’s pairs saw the first title go the way of a Bowls North Harbour contingent, with composite pairing Judith Seagar and Lin East proving too strong for O’Callaghan and Christine Buchanan, 15-3.

In other results, the Carlton Cornwall quartet of Grant Keats, Bill Whitburn, Barry Green and David Ball defeated composite four Neil Fisher, John Walker, Bryan Chapman and Gary Cotton, 11-6.

The men’s 75 and over pairs was taken out by Mairangi Bay duo Murray Radojkovic and Barry McCrystal, defeating composite pairing Bob Howitt and Murray Mathieson, 11-7, while Carlton Cornwall’s Nick Krajancic and Clara Bowman combined to take out the 75 and over Mixed Pairs, defeating Delrick Henley and Cindy Henley, 12-6.

Men’s and Women’s Pairs medallists.

Rounding out the week’s results, the Consolation Pairs, (an event open to all eliminated players who have competed in their eligible and respective Masters’ fields), saw Point Chevalier’s Kevin Morris and Graham Edwards top the podium with a 15-10 victory opposite Sandy Cleghorn and Bob Wilson, collecting $350 for their efforts.

To relive all the final’s action, be sure to check out Sky Sport Next on Youtube where you will find the 60-74 Mixed Pairs, the 75 and Over Men’s Pairs and the 60-74 Women’s Fours respective finals play out.

Other greens used throughout qualifying included Browns Bay, Orewa, Milford, Helensville, Mairangi Bay and Takapuna.

The Bowls North Harbour NZ Masters will return again next season.

Results at a Glance
2020 Bowls North Harbour NZ Masters, North Harbour

(60-74) Mixed Pairs
Winners: Trevor Drake, Linley O’Callaghan (15, won on extra end)
Runners-up: Peter Bellis, Reen Stratford (14)
3rd equal: Bill Whitburn, Suzanne Curran & T Forward, C Mathieson

75 & over Mixed Pairs
Winners: – Nick Krajjanic, Clara Bowman (12)
Runners-up: Delrick Henley, Cindy Henley (6)
3rd equal: P Signal, D Goodey & G Lawrence, L Bilcich

(60-74) Men’s Pairs
Winners: Trevor Drake, Lindsay Thomas (10)
Runners-up: Bruce McClintock, Walter Howden (8)

75 & over Men’s Pairs
Winners: Murray Radojkovic, Barry McCrystal (11)
Runners-up: Bob Howitt, Murray Mathieson (7)

(60-74) Women’s Pairs
Winner: Judith Seager, Lin East (15)
Runners-up: Linley O’Callaghan, Christine Buchanan (3)
3rd equal: M O’Keefe, L Lopez & K Hema, G Waitai

(60-74) Men’s Fours
Winners: Barry Green, David Ball, William Whitburn, Grant Keats (10)
Runners-up: Neil Fisher, John Walker, Murray Mathieson, Bryan Chapman, Gary Cotton (6)
3rd equal: P Thompson, I Colman, M Batley, E Smith & B Howitt, T Coombe, M Mathieson, T Forward

(60-74) Women’s Fours
Winners: Gayle Melrose, Ruth Lynch, Marilyn Constantine, Mary Campbell (12)
Runners-up: Elaine McClintock, Kerin Roberts, Christeen Dalzell, Jan Harrison (11)
3rd equal: J Gledhill, S Wellington, C Rice, T Rogers & J Fraser, J Welsh, C Bowman, A Muir

Consolation Pairs
Winners: Kevin Morris, Graham Edwards (15)
Runners-up- Sandy Cleghorn, Bob Wilson (10)

by Sam Morton
Photos: Terry Moverley