Whangarei’s Trevor Reader and his side of Paul Price, Steve Smith and Paul Shotter have rounded out their season on a career winning high, taking out the inaugural National Champion of Champions Men’s Fours in Hastings.
Hosted at the Bowls Hastings complex, 16 provincial champion sides entered the field in a bid to claim the national silverware, with all teams having previously started out as their respective club champions.
After two days of section play, the top eight sides were found – with the top two teams from the three sections automatically advancing and the next best two performing sides completing the knockout draw.
Reader’s quartet, seemingly struggling in section play, stepped up to the mark on finals day, dispatching Paraparaumu Beach stalwart Ray Boffa and co (Tom Henderson, Gary Hopkins, John Evans), 10-8, before going on to account for the strong Northern contingent of Terry Johnson, Clark Norris, Derek McKee and Ron Sandilands, 15-10, to book themselves a spot in this year’s final.
The other side of the draw saw the battle of the neighbouring provinces, Auckland’s Aiden Takarua and North Harbour’s Tony Grantham, both sides having previously swept aside their quarter-final match ups in convincing fashion with Takarua (Alex Reed, Steve Hoeft, Nick Thompson) defeating Halswell’s Kevin Diggs (Shane Taggart, John Connolly, Phil Austin), 18-2 and Grantham (Brendan Kelly, Sean Mulholland, Denis Bawden) bettering the experienced Wanganui icon Ray Park (Bernard Anderson, Alan Dickson, Russell Spence), 21-11.
The semi-final saw Grantham’s Browns Bay line-up take a commanding control on the game opposite the Pt Chevalier hopefuls, emerging through to a finals berth courtesy of a 17-5 winning margin.
However, unable to repeat their semi-final heroics, the Whangarei four appeared to have found their best form in responding to Grantham’s challenge, edging the win 16-12 and sending the silverware to Northland for the summer.
Beaten quarter-finalists also included Te Rangi’s Steve Sanders (Jason Heffer, Earl Doidge, Simon Swale), who after an unbeaten run in section play bowed out to Johnson’s side, 15-8.
Reader’s win concludes the action for the 2018/19 season with all National Champion of Champions now crowned until next year.
Congratulations to Tony Grantham and Kirsten Edwards (singles), Tony Terry & Mike Isaacson, Wendy Green & Lynette McIntosh (pairs) and Jan Barclay, Beth Brown, Lorraine Turnbull, Dale Bourke & Trevor Reader, Paul Price, Steve Smith and Paul Shotter (fours) for their winning efforts in this competition.
Results at a Glance
Bowls NZ National Champion of Champions Men’s Fours, Hastings
Reader d Grantham; 16-12
Reader d Johnson; 15-10
Grantham d Takarua; 17-5
Trevor Reader, Paul Price, Steve Smith, Paul Shotter (Whangarei, Northland) d Ray Boffa, Tom Henderson, Gary Hopkins, John Evans (Paraparaumu Beach, Kapiti Coast); 10-8
Terry Johnson, Clark Norris, Derek McKee, Ron Sandilands (Northern, Manawatu) d Steve Sanders, Jason Heffer, Earl Doidge, Simon Swale (Te Rangi, Southland); 15-8
Aiden Takarua, Alex Reed, Steve Hoeft, Nick Thompson (Pt Chevalier, Auckland) d Kevin Diggs, Shane Taggart, John Connolly, Phil Austin (Halswell, Canterbury); 18-2
Tony Grantham, Brendan Kelly, Sean Mulholland, Denis Bawden (Browns Bay, North Harbour) d Ray Park, Bernard Anderson, Alan Dickson, Russell Spence (Wanganui, Wanganui); 21-11