Dunedin completes their programme; Auckland qualifier & NZ PBA finals weekend delayed by COVID

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Dunedin became the sixth of the New Zealand Professional Bowls Association’s seven venues to complete their winter programme playing their local finals day under Level 2 COVID-19 mitigations with a crowd limited to under 100 and many more watching live streamed online enjoying a fantastic day of top class bowls with some wonderful finishes.

25 year old Southlander Sheldon Bagrie-Howley overcame former NZ small indoor bowls international Ray Webster 9-3, 4-9, 2-0 in the final of the World Indoor Singles Qualifier in a see-saw match. Bagrie-Howley last made the NZ PBA Finals Weekend in 2016 when he won a trip to Scotland. And it was another nail-biting loss for Webster in the final of the World Indoor Pairs Qualifier in which he and partner Russell Dawe lost to the Canterbury duo of Rob Fensom and Jeff Nowell 9-4, 6-5. Nowell has a commanding lead in the race to win the NZ Rookie of the Year trophy which he would now be able to pick up in person at Finals Weekend.

Unfortunately that Finals Weekend has had to be delayed after the NZ Government announced an extension of Auckland’s COVID-19 Level 3 lockdown to 30th August, and restrictions on group activities in Auckland to 10 people or less for the following week. This has made it impossible for the Auckland branch to complete its qualifying programme in time for the original scheduled Finals. The newly revised plan is for Auckland to play a Ranking Singles event and an International Singles qualifier at Remuera using the existing Finals Weekend booking on 12 and 13 September, and for NZ PBA Finals Weekend to delay for a month to 9-11 October still to be played at the Remuera Club.

Tournament entries for the Auckland branch events are once again being taken by coordinator Bart Robertson closing 4th September.

NZ Professional Bowls Association Results, Draws & Race Position:

Remuera Bowling Club, Auckland:
Ranking Singles on Sat 12th Sep at Remuera.
International Singles Qualifier on Sun 13th Sep at Remuera.
Winner will play at NZ PBA Finals Weekend in Auckland Oct 9-11.
Please re-confirm entries with Bart by 4th September.

Dunedin Bowls Stadium:
World Indoor Singles Qualifier:
Semifinal: Ray Webster bt Beth Brown 6-5, 8-3.
Final: Sheldon Bagrie-Howley (Southland) bt Ray Webster 9-3, 4-9, 2-0.
Sheldon Bagrie-Howley will play at NZ PBA Finals Weekend in Auckland Oct 9-11.

1st Bedpost Ranking Singles:
Semifinal: Joko Susilo bt Oliver Mason 13-6, 4-8, 2-0.
Final: Joko Susilo (Dunedin) bt Brian Harvey (Southland) 9-7, 11-3.

2nd Bedpost Ranking Singles:
Semifinal: Mitch Cook bt Paul Everett 3-8, 7-5, 2-1.
Final: Tom Taiaroa (Dunedin) bt Mitch Cook (Dunedin) 7-3, 11-3.

World Indoor Pairs Qualifier:
Final: Rob Fensom & Jeff Nowell (Canterbury) bt Russell Dawe & Ray Webster (Dunedin) 9-4, 6-5.
Rob Fensom & Jeff Nowell will play at NZ PBA Finals Weekend in Auckland Oct 9-11.

NZ PBA Live Race Position:
(2019 rank)    2020 Race position Name (Centre)                     Points
(1)       1          Ray Martin                             (Wellington)              406
(27=)   2          Gavin Scrivener                   (Whanganui)                        326
(104=) 3          Clare Hendra                                    (Wellington)              312
(6)       4=        Chris Lourie                          (Waikato)                   310
(8)       4=        Craig Merrilees                     (Southland)               310
(5)       6          Richie Muir                           (Central Otago)         308
(7)       7          Craig De Faria                      (Taranaki)                  304
(27=)   8          David Jones                          (Bay of Plenty)          300
(2)       9          Craig Tinker                          (Southland)               296
(23=)   10        Brian Harvey                         (Southland)               290
(84)     11        Kelvin Jackson                     (Central Otago)         288
(40)     12        Mike Isaacson                      (Hawkes Bay)           285
(20)     13        Brent McEwan                      (Dunedin)                  283
(71)     14        Tony Terry                             (Hawkes Bay)           280
(11)     15        Alan Bowler                          (Waikato)                   273
(31=)   16        Rob Ashton                           (Wellington)              265
(95)     17        Tom Taiaroa                          (Dunedin)                  258
(10)     18        Lyall Spencer                       (Southland)               256
(22)     19        Bart Robertson                     (North Harbour)        253
(100=) 20        Tony Fabling                                    (Waikato)                   251
Notable others:
(new)  59        Jeff Nowell                            (Canterbury)             170
(263=) 81        Sheldon Bagrie-Howley     (Southland)               145
(-)        166=   Rob Fensom                         (Canterbury)             90