There will be three teams from Taranaki and one side from Auckland that will contest the semifinals of the 113th Taranaki men’s Open fours at Paritutu on Sunday morning.
The semifinals will feature Adam Wishnoski (New Lynn) against Noel Probyn (Fitzroy) and Darren Goodin (Paritutu) against Ross Henderson (West End).
Wishnoski’s team also includes Gary Dougherty, Keith Ansell and skip Brody Dix. Probyn’s side is skipped by Ian Mahoney, with Tony Walsh and Nigel Newton up front, while Goodin’s team comprises Don Christensen, Allan Batley and Rodger Hassall. Henderson, carrying the hopes of West End, has Norm Broughton, Martin Dravitzki and two-time champion John Garrud in his quartet.
Henderson’s quarterfinal effort was a real nail-biting affair. For the second time in post section, the West End skip eliminated a Kapiti side with his last bowl. Playing Peter Thomson’s Paekakariki team of Henry Yee, Kurt Burgess and Ged Ebbrell, Henderson’s side prevailed 24-23 in a topsy-turvy contest. Henderson led by two playing the last end, but was two down on the changeover and Thomson, with his second delivery turned out the closest West End bowl to lie the game. Henderson, with the last bowl of the match, pushed into the head, hitting some non-counting bowls, and walking through to grab second-shot.
Probyn’s side posted a relatively comfortable 30-25 win over Richard Meacle’s Australian team of Graham Clarke, Hans Van Roy and Al Johnson.
The Wishnoski side made no race of its quarterfinal, powering away from Ian Coombe and his Mairangi Bay line-up of John Valentine, Arthur Beale and Brian Rogers 20-5. The Mairangi Bay unit had competed diligently all week, with Coombe in particular playing some telling shots, but they ran out of puff in the last round.
Goodin only broke free over the latter stages of his quarterfinal against the Wilton team of Lou Cancian, Peter Batchelor, John Earles and skip Howard Ivory, winning 23-14. Goodin took the last six completed ends, after the score had been 14-all.
Ivory and clubmate Anton Ferrari were involved in the tightest of the round three matches played in the morning, the former getting home 21-20, when Earles secured the shot on the final end to break the deadlock.
Goodin, playing especially well and being well-supported, came from 8-3 down to beat Peter Belliss (Aramoho) 28-14.
Wishnoski’s side controlled the scoring against Ray Park (Wanganui) and looked comfortable leading 19-9 with four ends remaining and then held on to win 19-17.
Coombe’s side, after being 5-2 down, were in charge for most of the match against Steve Hoeft (Pt Chevalier), winning 24-16.
The associated pairs event, for non-qualifiers and non-participants in the fours, is also at the semifinal stage, with all combinations from Taranaki. John Forde and Paul Digby (Stratford-Avon) meet Jim Priest (Oakura), who also won the title last year with Adam Collins, and Aidan Zittersteijn (Paritutu) in one semifinal, while Steve Cottam and Ian Andrews (Paritutu), who won the title two seasons ago, play Evan Jones and Ron Gadsby (Fitzroy) in the other.