Timoti and team secure 2019 Russell Double

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Former New Zealand representative Manu Timoti and her Hikurangi side of Steve Mitchell, Linda Pedro and Betty Mitchell were in the winning circles at this year’s Russell Double, with the two day event proving a popular occasion for travelling sides.

Following a 13-year hiatus, the Russell Double returned to the calendar last year, with this year’s event continuing to build on the momentum and success of 2018, albeit with the format reverting back to its original team structure of any combination fours.

Teams from all pockets of Northland and surrounding provinces including Te Kuiti, Papakura, Riverhead, Whangarei and the Far North got involved in the event, with sixteen teams filling the green.

Held in stunning weather conditions throughout the weekend, the two-day event incorporates both the Kaimarama Memorial and Patron’s tournaments and is now endorsed as an official Summer of Bowls event on the Bowls New Zealand programme.

Following the completion of all games, Timoti and her Hikurangi club mates were crowned this year’s champions, taking out the Russell Double trophy and the $2000 winners’ cheque for their efforts.

A close second saw the local favourites Mark Williams, Dianne Davey, Keith Alexander and Peter Rowlands round out a strong weekend, while for Riverhead’s John Tobin and team, it was somewhat of a strange feeling to receive a dinner plate, crunchie bar and an extra large wooden spoon – failing to win a game.

However, the tournament has always reflected an enjoyable social atmosphere, with players enjoying an evening meal and live music on Saturday night – and spinning a yarn or two about the day’s play.

Event spokesperson Pania Sigley said the standard of play throughout the event had been exceptional and thanked all sponsors for their ongoing support.

“The green played true and there were many positive comments on the presentation of the green, surrounds and clubrooms. The Russell Double has five major sponsors (Bay Four Square, Irene Bremner Bayleys Real Estate, Haha Wines of New Zealand, Hananui Lodge & Apartments and Bowls New Zealand), as well as the family sponsors for the meals,” she said.

“All of these and other minor sponsors continue to contribute to ensure the Russell Double is a success and secures its place in the 2020-21 bowls calendar.”

The Russell Double will return next year in November, 2020.