Golden Day at Bowls Orewa

January 5, 2023

They were the words ringing through the Bowls New Zealand commentary booth on
Thursday afternoon, reflecting Selina Goddards’ match-winning bowl following a scintillating
women’s singles final on the carpeted rinks at the Orewa Bowling Club.

In what proved a titanic-tussle with fellow Blackjack teammate and defending champion
Tayla Bruce, Goddard held her nerve to capitalise on a narrowly missed opportunity by
Bruce. Trailing 20-18 and match down, Bruce executed a superb trail shot to drag the jack to
her two waiting bowls right of the rink, though was agonisingly heavy drawing her final bowl
for back-to-back national singles victories.

Instead, Goddard’s moment arrived – with the Takapuna star stepping up to mat, taking a
deep breath and running Bruce’s bowl out of contention and securing the vital solitary point
to claim the 2023 Summerset National Women’s Singles silverware. In 2021, the last time
the nationals were held in Auckland, Goddard finished runner-up to Deb White, and just last
year, was a beaten semi-finalist in Christchurch. Now, just as she was in 2017, Goddard is
the national women’s singles champion and with that, joins an elite group of Gold Star
holders, securing her fifth open title.

Beaten semi-finalists include Carlton Cornwall’s Linda Ralph and Hawera Park hopeful
Kristin Stampa, with both Goddard and Bruce proving too strong in the latter stages of the

To conclude proceedings on day four, double world champion Gary Lawson closed out a
remarkable 16th national title, teaming up with Blackjack Tony Grantham to win the men’s
pairs. Lawson, who has endured some controversial headlines in recent months, proved yet
again to be a class above, capitalising on the solid platform provided by Grantham and
putting former New Zealand pairs champion Ray Martin to the sword in the finishing stages
of the finale, winning through 19-8.

Starting strong, Martin and his lead Will Bennett got out of the blocks well and applied early
pressure - though were unable to hold off the dominance from the vastly experienced lead
capability of Grantham. The win moves Grantham within one title of claiming the coveted
Gold Star - something he is actively striving to achieve, while Lawson continues to break his
own records year after year.

Beaten semi-finalists were Wellington composite Finbar McGuigan and Robbie Bird, and
2021 champions Lance Pascoe and Jamie Hill.

In other results, Wakari’s Darron Wolland, who earlier this season won the National Para
Bowls Singles in Invercargill, continued his fine form in the open disability singles, defeating
Te Awamutu’s Lynda Bennett, 21-11 in an entertaining final under the roof at Orewa.

Despite rolling a wrong bias with his opening bowl, Wolland soon settled the nerves and
continued his impressive singles record - maintaining a perfect win tally in his first season of
para bowls.

Meanwhile, all attention now turns to the men’s singles, women’s pairs and open disability
pairs - with two days of qualifying getting underway on Friday.
For the full rundown of results, click here