Written by Dale Budge for nzherald.co.nz
Jo Edwards’ quest for a medal at the Bowls New Zealand National Championships has gone smoothly on Thursday.
The veteran Blackjack and her women’s fours super team of Val Smith, Kirsten Edwards and Tayla Bruce have advanced to the semifinals where they will play Lisa White and Sarah Scott for a place in the gold medal match.
Edwards has had an unhappy tournament to this point, getting knocked out of both the women’s singles and women’s pairs where she was a strong favourite but she is now guaranteed of adding another medal and maybe even a national title to an already stellar career.
Edwards’ team accounted for the Anne Bateman-skipped composite team 24-6 to book a spot in the medal rounds having earlier beaten Cathy Andrews’ Paritutu side 20-12.
Also progressing to the final four were the composite teams skipped by Ann Loveridge, Sarah Scott and Lisa White.
Loveridge’s team of Marilyn Constantine, Dianne Paterson and Robin Rintoul will face Scott’s four that also includes Bronwyn Stevens, Katelyn Inch and Debbie White.
The semifinalists were found in the men’s fours on Thursday as well.
The Australia-based combination of Ali Forsyth, Tony Wood, Paul Titcombe and John Young had few problems. The Victorian side has looked particularly strong throughout the tournament and will take some beating in the closing stages.
Forsyth’s crew powered past long-time New Zealand rep Gary Lawson’s composite side in the quarterfinals and earlier in the day advanced past Bradley Down’s team as well as the Johnston Park team skipped by Stephen Love – the latter by a solitary shot however.
Legendary Kiwi bowler Peter Bellis made it through to another National Championships semifinal with his team of Richard Girvan, Blake Signal and Lance Tasker.
That combination will face Dean Drummond, Richard Hocking, Lloyd Fitness and Seamus Curtain in the semifinals. Drummond’s composite side enjoyed wins over Russell Hardy’s Nolantown team and the Paritutu side skipped by Brian Baldwin.
Taking on Forsyth’s Victorian side in the semifinals will be the West End club’s combination of Dean Elgar, Gerry O’Sullivan, Neil Candy and John Garrud. Elgar’s team progressed by beating combinations skipped by Phil Taylor, Sheldon Bagrie-Howley and Kevin Hills.
Semifinalists in all disciplines will be found on Friday before the medal matches take place across the weekend.