Aramoho Bowling Club – a club laden with former national champions in Peter Belliss, Reen Stratford, Sean Johnson and most recently Gavin Scrivener, have played their way into a quarter-finals berth in the National Bowls3Five competition following a win opposite Wairarapa hopefuls, Masterton.
In a format that is presently sweeping the nation, the Aramoho side representing the Wanganui District, have proved in promising form this season, comprising a strong side to compete in the 9-aside event and stamping their mark as a tough side to overcome.
Starting their campaign against the formidable West End club of Taranaki, the Aramoho combination edged their opposition 2-0, before taking on Masterton, who had received a direct entry into the last 16 due to the absence of a Hawkes Bay side choosing not to compete.
The last 16 clash saw the Aramoho stars shine, again defeating their opposition in two fixtures, without requiring the final fixture to be played out in full.
Racing out to a comfortable lead in two of the three games, the Aramoho line-ups, albeit without Johnson, combined expertly to temper any comeback from Masterton, closing out the second set by a solitary point in both fixtures and earning their place in the country’s last eight.
Aramoho team player/manager Keith Slight said the club and the players had enjoyed the Bowls3Five format, pointing out the reputation of the short format game would likely help attract new members to the sport.
“The short format doesn’t take too much of our time and it doesn’t require all of our weekend to commit to these events. I think this format is going to help encourage new bowlers along, it’s a changing time and it won’t happen in the next year or two, but we’ve got to start somewhere and this is as good a place as any,” Slight said.
“You could lose by 10 points in the first set, win the second by one point and have a great tie break end. It (the format) keeps teams in the game right throughout, whereas a traditional game of bowls, once you are 14-15 in front (for example), you’ll go on to win 99 times out of 100.”
The Aramoho side features Belliss, Stratford, Scrivener, Slight, Ray Wilson, Kevin Coombe, Phil Corney, Jill Rohloff and Ruth White.
Next up, the travelling contingent will head to Paritutu, New Plymouth to compete at a venue that will see both sides hit the road, with the added bonus of a guaranteed match-up courtesy of the indoor complex available at the club in the event of inclement weather.
Dates are still to be finalised, though it is likely to take place on Sunday, April 7.
All quarter-finals must be completed by April 14, where the top four sides in the country will descend on the carpeted rinks at Naenae Bowling Club to compete for the ultimate prize . . . a sought-after berth in the televised Bowls3Five league, replacing the relegated Woodend Jets.
Results at a Glance
National Bowls3Five, Last 16 – Aramoho (Wanganui) vs Masterton (Wairarapa)
Aramoho d Masterton; 2-0
Aramoho team line-up
Peter Belliss, Reen Stratford, Ray WIlson
Keith Slight, Kevin Coombe, Jill Rohloff
Phil Corney, Gavin Scrivener, Ruth White