New champion to be crowned at Summerset Nationals

January 3, 2021

The women’s singles quarter-finalists have been found at the Summerset Nationals in Auckland after four frantic rounds of post-section play saw past champions fall by the wayside.

Wet weather on Saturday meant all 120 entrants started the knock-out rounds on Sunday morning and by 7pm only eight players were left in the draw.

Seven-time national champion Mandy Boyd (Elmwood Park) and Blackjack Tayla Bruce (Burnside) headline the quarter-finalists and they will square off for a place in the final four.

Boyd swept through to the last eight with four convincing wins, capped with a 21-5 victory over Dianne Patterson (Wanganui) in the round of 16, while Bruce edged Lisa Parlane (Takapuna) 21-20 to secure her place in the quarters.

Carlton Cornwall players Linda Ralph and Karen Hema have also won through to the fifth knock-out round, as has fellow Aucklander Rima Strickland (Grey Lynn) and North Harbour’s Connie Mathieson (Takapuna).

Wellington’s Nicole Toomey (Victoria) and Patricia Murray from the Kensington Bowling Club in Whangarei round out the quarter-final line-up.

Past champions Debbie White (Hinuera) and Selina Smith (Takapuna) both exited in the early knock-out rounds.

White was edged 21-20 by Lisa Parlane (Takapuna) in the first round of post-section play at Carlton Cornwall, while Smith was beaten 21-12 by Ralph in the second knock-out round at Howick.

Fellow Blackjack squad members Val Smith (Nelson) and Clare Hendra (Silverstream) and emerging talent squad members Leeane Poulson (Papakura), Lisa Prideaux (Carlton Cornwall) and Bronwyn Stevens (North East Valley) also fell short of the quarter-finals.

There have been no major casualties in section play for the men’s pairs, but there have been a couple near-misses.

The fancied combination of Seamus Curtin and Shannon McIlroy had to win their final two section games to progress to the knock-out stages after succumbing to a second defeat in round three.

They eventually qualified in style, winning their final round game 40-4.

The knock-out rounds also started early for young guns Taylor Horn and Sheldon Bagrie-Howley, who clinched their place in post-section play with a 21-6 victory in the final round.

Defending champions Ray Martin and Robbie Bennett and the star-studded pairing of Mike Kernaghan and Finbar McGuigan have both qualified without defeat, as have Aiden Takarua and Richard Hocking.

Blackjacks Gary Lawson and Andrew Kelly and 2019 winners Jordan King and Chris Lowe are other combinations to watch in the post-section draw.

The quarter-finals of the women’s singles will all take place at Carlton Cornwall, starting at 8:30am tomorrow (January 4), with the semi-finals and final to follow.

Carlton Cornwall, Howick and Browns Bay will host the opening day of post-section play in the men’s pairs.

Qualifying will also get underway in the blind national singles and pairs.

All finals will be broadcast live on Sky Sport Next.