Gary Lawson’s star-studded four has bowed out on the first day of post-section play at the Summerset Nationals in Wellington.
The 13-time national champion, who has teamed up with past and present Blackjacks Tony Grantham, Jamie Hill and Shannon McIlroy, has been ousted in the opening knock-out round at the Naenae Bowling Club.
The Hawke’s Bay four of Dean Drummond, Richard Hocking, Dave Henderson and Lloyd Fitness have beaten Lawson’s much-fancied quartet 21-15.
Drummond’s foursome then went on to edge Darren Goodin (Paritutu) 21-19 in the round of 16 before dismissing Michael Carroll (Stokes Valley) 25-9 in the quarters to set-up a semi-final meeting with Taranaki’s Dean Elgar.
Elgar’s four has rolled through post-section play with comprehensive wins over Warren Olliff (Thames Valley), Dan Dickison (Tauranga) and Michael Solomon’s composite combination.
National squad member Mike Kernaghan has confidently moved through to the final four in the top half of the draw at Silverstream.
Kernaghan’s foursome, featuring Andrew Kelly, has outclassed Simon Poppleton 24-14 in the first knock-out round before overcoming Graham Skellern (Takapuna) 19-18 and then downing Bob Hall 21-12 in the quarter-finals.
Pat Houlahan’s composite four awaits them after Houlahan thumped Steve Beel (Mt Maunganui) 20-4 in the last eight.
The semi-finalists have also been found in the women’s fours, with one of the major contenders missing out.
Amy McIlroy’s foursome, featuring national squad members Selina Goddard, Wendy Jensen and Lisa Prideaux have been ousted by Dale Rayner’s quartet in the round of 16, losing a nail-biter 23-22.
Rayner was then crushed 27-13 by Palmerston North’s Terrace End four skipped by Sheryn Blake in the last eight.
Blake will meet wither Margaret O’Connor in the semi-finals after O’Connor downed 2007 winner Bev Morel 23-10 in the quarters.
In the bottom half of the draw, national singles champion Debbie White will face defending national fours champion Mandy Boyd for a place in the final.
White’s four has raced away with a 30-18 win over Alieta Vulu (Stokes Valley) in the quarter-finals, while Boyd, Angela Boyd, Kirsten Edwards and Leigh Griffin have edged Lisa White 22-21, after downing Reen Stratford’s quartet 25-13.
All four semi-finals will be played at the Naenae Bowling Club tomorrow (March 4) morning, with the women’s final to follow at midday before the men’s final from 3pm.