Disabled bowlers take centre stage at Summerset Nationals


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Steve Delaney (second left) after beating Kerrin Wheeler (second right) in the B3/B4 singles final. Their directors and dads stand either side of them.

The Stoke, Paeroa, Burnside, Takapuna and Auckland clubs have captured New Zealand titles on the penultimate day of the Summerset Nationals in Auckland.

Steve Delaney (Stoke) has gone back-to-back in the B3/B4 singles for vision impaired players, edging Kerrin Wheeler (North East Valley, Dunedin) 21-18 in a titanic final at the Sunnybrae Bowling Club in Glenfield.

“It was pretty epic. I was nervous about Kerrin. I’ve been watching him, keeping an eye on the new boys,” Delaney said.

“I was a new boy and upset a few people and I didn’t want it to happen again.”

He delivered when it mattered most, breaking an 18-all deadlock with a three on what was ultimately the final end.

“Just got to take ownership of it and play your game. That’s the best advice my old man has given me ‘just own it’ so I just had to.”

Delaney’s dad Colin was his director, which made the result extra special.

“It’s pretty cool man. Bowls has brought me and dad closer together in the three years I’ve been playing.

“Proud of him and just bloody rapt man, I’m thirsty.”

Steve Delaney earlier had to settle for runner-up in the vision impaired (B1-B4) pairs, with James Dunn (Paeroa) skipping the winning combination 18-8 in the final.

Ron Syme (Auckland) won the B1/B2 title for blind or near-blind bowlers, beating David Monk (Matua) 21-14 in the title decider late in the afternoon.

Bruce Wakefield (Burnside) won the two disabled (B5-B8) events.

He first beat Lynda Bennett (Te Awamutu) 21-11 in the final of the singles.

Bennett had beaten Kevin Asplin (Rotorua) 21-18 in a tight-fought semi-final, after Asplin had beaten defending champion Graham Skellern (Takapuna) 21-12 in the quarters.

Wakefield then teamed up with Skellern to win the pairs.

Bennett again had to be satisfied with finishing runner-up as she and Asplin were beaten 18-8 in the early evening at Sunnybrae.

Final results:

B1-B4 pairs – James Dunn (Paeroa) beat Steve Delaney (Stoke) 18-8.

B1/B2 singles – Ron Syme (Auckand) beat David Monk (Matua) 21-14.

B3/B4 singles –
Steve Delaney (Stoke) beat Kerrin Wheeler (North East Valley) 21-18.

B5-B8 singles – Bruce Wakefield (Burnside) beat Lynda Bennett (Te Awamutu) 21-11.

B5-B8 pairs – Graham Skellern & Bruce Wakefield beat Lynda Bennett & Kevin Asplin 18-8.