Dramatic start to post-section play at the nationals

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The semi-finalists have been found in the women’s pairs and there are just eight men remaining in the singles after a thrilling first day of post-section play at the Summerset Nationals in Auckland.

Blackjack Val Smith and her playing partner Lisa Prideaux headline the final four of the women’s pairs.

Smith and Prideaux have edged Lindsay Nichols and Elaine McClintock (Composite) 18-17 in their quarter-final after earlier comfortably accounting for Jo McKenna and Jo Stockford (Point Chevalier) and Iris Dickson and Lisa Parlane (Composite) in the first two knockout rounds.

They will play Marion Hakaraia and Robyn Reihana (Te Atatu Peninsula) in the semis at Carlton Cornwall on Monday (January 7) after the West Aucklanders eliminated the mother-daughter combination of Leigh Griffin and Kirsten Edwards in the last eight, 15-12.

Amy McIlroy and Selina Goddard (Composite) have emerged from the other side of the draw after beating Patsy Robinson and Val Mathews (Thames), Clare Hendra and Tayla Bruce (Composite) and then Wendy Jensen and Anne Dorreen (Composite) in the quarters. 

McIlroy and Goddard will square-off against the experienced Reen Stratford and Linda Ralph for a place in the women’s pairs final.

Stratford and Ralph breezed through their first two knockout matches before squeezing past Gaylene Harvey and Louise Fitness (Composite) 17-16 in their quarter-final.

Reigning champion Shannon McIlroy (Stoke) is safely through to the quarter-finals of the men’s singles, but 13-time national title-holder Gary Lawson (Eastbourne) has fallen short.

McIlroy, the world champion, has outclassed Bowls3Five televised league winner Alex Reed (Point Chevalier) 21-9 in the fourth round of post-section play after earlier accounting for Dean Drummond (Hastings) and Ned Maranic (New Lynn).

Logan Amer (Johnsonville) is next in McIlroy’s sights after Amer won his place in the quarters with a 21-8 win over Jordan King (Mangere).

Lawson has fallen short of the last eight in the top half of the draw, after losing an exhilarating knockout match to Grant Goodwin (Riverhead), 21-20.

Goodwin came back from 12-5 and 18-10 down to score three shots on the 23rd end to win the match.

He will face Tony Fabling (Hillcrest) in the last eight after Fabling beat Steve Hoeft (Point Chevalier), Roger Stevens (Te Rangi) and John Janssen (Takapuna) in the first three rounds of post-section play.

In the bottom half of the draw, Lawson’s pairs partner Jamie Hill (Eastbourne) will square-off against Chris Le Lievre (Musgrave Hill) in the quarters after both won thrilling knock-out matches.

Hill edged Dennis Brewster (Whangarei) 21-17 in the fourth round of post-section play, while Le Lievre overcame two-time winner Petar Sain (Carlton Cornwall) 21-18.

Taylor Horn (Mangere) has eliminated another former Blackjack, thumping Richard Girvan 21-4 to book a  quarter-final match-up against Roger Andrew (Manurewa), who beat Cliff Webber (Tauranga Domain) 21-13 in the knock-out round.

Post-section play continues tomorrow (January 6), with knock-out action in the women’s singles and men’s pairs, with the finals on Tuesday (January 8).


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