Stratford’s four toast of Tauranga

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The composite four of Reen Stratford, Alison Rennie, Louise Fitness and Helen Blick got their year off to a promising start on the green, taking out the 2020 Tauranga Combined Clubs Women’s Fours.

With the weather playing its role for the most part, albeit some wet weather passing through on day two, the three day event attracted players from as far afield as Auckland, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Waikato and local hopefuls within the Bay of Plenty.

Now in its 54th year and recognised as part of the Bowls New Zealand Summer of Bowls programme, the event saw a field of 36 teams take to the greens throughout the Tauranga area, with qualifying playing out over the first two days and finals’ action taking place on day three.

As the sun made a welcome appearance on the final day, Stratford and team proved too strong, taking out top spot ahead of runner-ups Anne Mahon, Robyn Johnstone, Raewyn Burwell and Christine Burns and third place, Liz Witton, Annie Judge, Janice Collier and Edith Hewett.

Intriguingly, last year’s winners Ellie Goble, didn’t feature in any of the prizes across the three sections.

Meanwhile, Flight B was won by Raewyn Willis, Mario Caie, Ailsa Ritchie and Mary Conroy, with the Liffy Law skipped four of Heather Leyland, Josephine Connolly and Lynda Francis finishing second. Marilyn Constantine, June Smith, June Mabbett and Donna Whitten placed third.

In other results, the lower tier of the competition, Flight C, saw Janet Alexander’s side of Joy Scott, Helen Board and Erica Miranda improve last year’s placing, this time combining to take out top spot ahead of Margaret McCallum, Cindy Nicol, Loris Ropitini and Lorraine Crofskey.

Reflecting on the three-day’s of action, event organiser Pat Andrews said the tournament was played in great spirit.

“There were some very exciting games with results, in many cases, decided on the last end,” Andrews said.

“Rain threatened on the Tuesday, but did not eventuate and the atmosphere, camaraderie and laughter throughout made for a very pleasant three days. This was the 54th time this event had been held in the Tauranga area and that’s an achievement we are very proud of.”

The Tauranga Combined Clubs Women’s Fours will return for its 55th edition next January.

Results at a Glance
2020 Tauranga Combined Clubs Women’s Fours, Bay of Plenty

A Section
1st: Reen Stratford, Alison Rennie, Louise Fitness, Helen Blick
2nd:Anne Mahon, Robyn Johnstone, Raewyn Burwell, Christine Burns
3rd: Liz Witton, Annie Judge, Janice Collier, Edith Hewett

B Section
1st: Raewyn Willis, Marion Caie, Ailsa Ritchie, Mary Conroy.
2nd:Liffy Law, Heather Leyland, Josephine Connolly, Lynda Francis
3rd: Marilyn Constantine, June Smith, June Mabbett, Donna Whitten

C Section
1st: Janet Alexander, Joy Scott, Helen Board, Erica Miranda
2nd:Margaret McCallum, Cindy Nicoll, Loris Ropitini, Lorraine Crofskey

by Sam Morton