National Bowls3Five champions Aiden Takarua and Alex Reed have done it again, this time combining with fellow Point Chevalier Pirate Colin Williams to defend their Harcourt Cooper & Co Milford 5000 crown in impressive fashion.
Now in its tenth edition, the event, held over the weekend, has fast become recognised as one of the richest junior tournaments in New Zealand, with the Milford Bowling Club enjoying a surge of interest and exposure as each year passes.
Initiated by former club members Tim Preston and Graham Doreen, the event was launched to attract top junior talent from throughout the Auckland and North Harbour centres, though with the sizable prize pool up for grabs, teams from further afield have found themselves lining up to take part in the showpiece – an event endorsed by the Bowls New Zealand Summer of Bowls identity.
The event sees 32 triples entries, (two 1-5 year bowlers and one under 8-year bowler), take to the greens on day one, with the primary aim to finish in the top 16 of the field. At the completion of the four qualifying games, the top half of the draw are separated to compete for the Doreen Preston Cup, while the lower tiers compete for the Plate honours.
At the completion of day two, Takarua’s side, who this year was missing Steve Hoeft, had proved too strong, claiming back-to-back titles and pocketing the winners’ cheque of $1500.
Both Takarua and Reed, who won and featured in the inaugural televised Bowls3Five competition earlier this season, have recently been named in the overhauled Bowls New Zealand Talent Development Squad, consistently performing at the highest level and indicating their worth as future stars of the sport.
In other results, the Mairangi Bay contingent of Neil Buckner, Phil Chisholm and Theresa Rogers ran a close second, while the Frankton Railway side of Gary Cotter, Mark Pene and James Owen rounded out third place.
Meanwhile, Milford’s home side of Ian McKenzie, Lyn Calver and Ric Calver took out the Harcourts Plate, finishing ahead of Blockhouse Bay’s runner-up trio Peter Dixon, Malcolm King and Allan Carbines and third place getters Karl Kendall, Kim Tilly and Matt Berry, of the New Lynn Club.
The Milford 5000 will return next season, though with both Takarua and Reed ineligible to compete together for the three-peat, it’s likely there will be some new names on the trophy this time next year.
Results at a Glance
Harcourts Cooper & Co Milford 5000, Milford
Doreen Preston Cup
1st – Aiden Takarua, Alex Reed, Colin Williams (Pt Chevalier)
2nd -Neil Buckner, Phil Chisholm, Theresa Rogers (Mairangi Bay)
3rd – Garry Cotter, Mark Pene, James Owen (Frankton Railway)
Plate – Milford 5000 Plate
1st – Ian McKenzie, Lyn Calver, Ric Calver (Milford)
2nd -Peter Dixon, Malcolm King, Allan Carbines (Blockhouse Bay)
3rd – Karl Kendall, Kim Tilly, Matt Berry (New Lynn)