Early exit for favoured women’s pair


Ashleigh Jeffcoat and Dale Rayner

The 2017 champions and last year’s beaten finalists have failed to progress to post-section play in the women’s pairs.

Rayner and Jeffcoat needed to win all three of their matches today (January 3) to advance after losing two of their first three matches in section play.

They won their first two to set up a virtual playoff against Jo McKenna and Jenny Stockford (Point Chevalier) for a place in the knockout rounds.

The composite pairing came up short, ending their dream two-year run in the women’s pairs, with McKenna and Stockford winning 18-14 to qualify from their section.

Fellow fancied pairings Clare Hendra and Tayla Bruce (Composite) and Amy McIlroy and Selina Goddard (Composite) have both won four of their six matches to progress, although McIlroy and Goddard did it the hard way.

They had to beat Karen Kuzimski and Carol Berry (New Lynn) in their final match of section play in order to qualify. McIlroy and Goddard did in style, winning 28-10.

Blackjack Val Smith and Lisa Prideaux (Composite) are one of four combinations that went through section play undefeated, with Reen Stratford and Linda Ralph (Composite), Wendy Jensen and Anne Dorreen (Composite) and Josie Mitchell and Lenice Baker (Henderson) the others.

The mother-daughter combination of Leigh Griffin and Kirsten Edwards (Composite) has also advanced, after recording four wins from their five matches. 

Gary Lawson has made a solid start to his quest to claim three straight national titles in the men’s pairs with three different playing partners.

Lawson and Jamie Hill (Eastbourne) have won two of their first three matches in section play and need to do the same tomorrow (January 4) in order to progress.

Youngsters Sheldon Bagrie-Howley and Seamus Curtin (Composite) and the experienced Shannon McIlroy and Justin Goodwin have also bounced back from losing their first match to be on track for a place in post-section play.

The veteran combinations of Mike Galloway and Martin Dixon (Royal Oak) and Richard Girvan and Chris Le Lievre (Composite) are both unbeaten after the first day of qualifying, while Bowls3Five winners Aiden Takarua and Alex Reed (Point Chevalier) are in early trouble.

They’ve dropped two straight matches and now need to win all of their remaining games in their section in order to advance.

Section play continues in the men’s pairs tomorrow (January 4), when section play starts in the women’s singles, where a new champion will be crowned in Jo Edwards’ absence.


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