Playing superb bowls 30-year-old Brody Dix has skipped his New Lynn side to victory in the 113th Taranaki men’s Open fours at the Paritutu greens in New Plymouth on Sunday evening.
Dix was the star turn in the final as his side of Adam Wishnoski, Keith Ansell and Gary Doughtery overcame Paritutu’s Don Christensen, Allan Batley, Rodger Hassall and skip Darren Goodin 29-16 in the final. Dix converted four of the opening ends from negatives into positives and that gave the New Lynn side the confidence that it could win the match. They edged ahead to 7-4 after seven ends when an early tea break was called.
On the return, Dix rode his luck. Three down on the head and attacking, he came off a wing bowl and spliced the jack back to the ditch. It left New Lynn with three shots and it retained those when Goodin’s final bowl tittered on the ditch before flopping in. Goodin added two fine shots on the next end to give Paritutu four, meaning at 10-8 the game was still alive. But Dix magically trailed the jack, when one down, on the next end to net a count of four.
It became a game changer, with the New Lynn team playing more confidently and building better heads. With No 2 Ansell in particular playing great bowls, Dix moved further in front, extending the lead to 20-9. Goodin pulled it back to 22-15 with five ends remaining.
But New Lynn finished the stronger. On the 21st end, when one down, Goodin, attacked the head but ended up three down. Two ends later, Paritutu held a five, but Dix expertly reduced it to one.
In the semifinals, the New Lynn side powered away from Fitzroy’s Tony Walsh, Nigel Newton, Noel Probyn and Ian Mahoney 24-6, while Goodin defeated West End’s Norm Broughton, Martin Dravitzki, John Garrud and Ross Henderson 25-19
In the pairs final, Steve Cottam and Ian Andrews (Paritutu) took the title for a second time in three years, beating Jim Priest (Oakura) and Aidan Zittersteijn (Paritutu) 22-19 in the decider.