Robinson withdrawal opens door for Houlahan in NZ Over 60’s

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An unfortunate injury has closed the door on Kevin Robinson’s appearance for the New Zealand Over 60’s at the upcoming test series, with the Australia-based Tokoroa man signalling he will be unable to recover in time to pull on the black jersey next month on the Gold Coast.

Robinson’s withdrawal opens the door for Alexandra’s Pat Houlahan, a former national Champion of Champion Singles winner and stalwart of the Central Otago representative side.

Following news of the injury, the national selection panel convened and named Houlahan, with Houlahan overjoyed with the opportunity and confirming his availability immediately.

With the inclusion of a new athlete to the team, the selectors have also opted to alter playing positions in the men’s disciplines to better suit varying skill sets.

The key changes mean Johnsonville’s Rob Ashton will step out of the triples and fours and instead take on the singles berth and skip Tauranga’s Lance Tasker in the pairs.

Ashton’s absence in the wider team disciplines will see Wanganui’s Ray Park spearhead the triples and fours as skip, with Houlahan playing in the middle of the triple and third in the fours. Remaining in their initial positions will be Taieri’s Dave Archer, who will lead both the triple and fours combinations, and Tasker, who will also play second in the four.

The team and management extend a warm welcome to Houlahan, while wishing Robinson all the best with his recovery and hoping he will one day wear the treasured black cap.

The women’s team remains unchanged.

The Bowls New Zealand Over 60’s team will compete in the upcoming Trans-Tasman Test Series from November 25-27 on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Men’s Team

Singles: Rob Ashton
Pairs: Lance Tasker & Rob Ashton (skip)
Triples: Dave Archer, Pat Houlahan & Ray Park (skip)
Fours: Dave Archer, Lance Tasker, Pat Houlahan & Ray Park (skip)
Team manager: Neil Buchanan