Summer Of Bowls – Naenae Women’s Classic

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Audrey Stevenson’s Kapiti Coast quartet of Rochelle Stevenson, Ronnie Crone and Eileen Jones have proven victorious at the inaugural Naenae Women’s Invitational $5000 Classic, with a superior differential crowning them the champions.

Held in Lower Hutt, Wellington, the windy capital certainly lived up to its well-known status with unpredictable gusts making for difficult conditions on the Naenae greens, though with a star-studded field in attendance, the cream rose to the top.

Equal on game points with Stevenson’s four, Tanya Wheeler and her side of Fiona McKinley and former New Zealand development reps Ashleigh Jeffcoat and Kimberley Hemingway ran second, with Taranaki’s Kristin Stampa, Gaye Holub, Rhonda Adams and Sue Winter rounding out third position, just two game points behind the top two.

With 32 teams present, the Classic format saw all teams contest six full rounds, encompassing fours, pairs, singles and triples, with the pairs, singles and triples split into sub-rounds.

At the conclusion of day one, four teams sat equal after an unbeaten start, though Victoria’s Leigh Griffin and her side of Helen King, Kirsten Edwards and Nina De Munnik edged ahead with a vastly superior points differential.

However, day two saw the march to the finish line end very differently, with Stevenson’s crew demonstrating consistent class to overtake the temporary leaders and storm to the title with an almost faultless record, posting just a single loss throughout the weekend’s play and adding the inaugural title to their already impressive resumes.

Speaking shortly after the event, tournament organiser Lisa White was delighted with the inaugural turnout and pointed out the event was set to become an annual fixture on the calendar.

“The quality of the field was really good, it was amazing to look around the greens and see who was actually there . . . some real quality teams and some top bowls being played right across the field.

“Although it was a bit windy, the players really got stuck into the format and everyone had an awesome weekend . . . so with all the wonderful help from my helpers, we have decided this event is here to stay,” she said.

Notable names to finish outside of the top six teams include Blackjack Tayla Bruce, New Zealand development representative Nicole Toomey, New Zealand head coach Sharon Sims, Female Development Player of the Year Leanne Poulson and the legendary Wellingtonian Judy Howat, to name only a few.


Results at a Glance

Naenae Women’s Invitational $5000 Classic, Wellington 

Audrey Stevenson, Rochelle Stevenson, Ronnie Crone, Eileen Jones

Tanya Wheeler, Ashleigh Jeffcoat, Fiona Mckinley and Kimberley Hemingway

3rd: Kristin Stampa, Gaye Holub, Rhonda Adams and Sue Winter

4th: Nicky Reed, Jan Shirley, Tania Woodham, and Kathy Cross

5th: Sheryn Blake, Mere Fryer, Ailsa Lindsay, and Lynlea Rodgers