Gary Lawson has breezed through section play at the Summerset National Fours in Wellington to remain in the running for a record-extending 14th national title.
Lawson, who is playing with past and present Blackjacks Tony Grantham, Jamie Hill and Shannon McIlroy, has skipped his formidable four to six wins from as many games to qualify top of section four.
His quartet eased to 21-8, 26-7 and 20-3 wins on the second day of section play to be one of just six men’s fours to emerge with unbeaten records.
Mike Kernaghan’s foursome, featuring fellow national squad member Andrew Kelly, has also won all six of its qualifying matches, as has Dean Elgar’s four, but Sheldon Bagrie-Howley has been a major casualty.
The 2018 runner-up’s four, which includes national singles champion Taylor Horn and national pairs champion Jordan King, have failed to advance to post-section play after losing three of its qualifying matches.
Bagrie-Howley lost 18-15 to Adam Turner to start day two, before a 19-17 defeat to Ken Brown ended his hopes of going one better than last year.
The father-son four of Brian and Blake Signal has won all three of its matches on the second day of section play in order to advance, as has Rob Ashton’s quartet, which features Petar Sain.
All the fancied women’s foursomes, including defending champion Mandy Boyd, have qualified for post-section play.
Boyd, sister Angela, Kirsten Edwards and Edwards’ mum Leigh Griffin has won its first two matches on day two of section play to secure the necessary four victories to advance.
The fours skipped by Lisa White, Serena Matthews, Dale Rayner and national singles champion Debbie White have also qualified with four win, one loss records, while Amy McIlroy and Reen Stratford have needed to go to the sixth and final round of section play to secure their fours in the knockout rounds.
McIlroy, who is playing with national squad members Selina Goddard, Wendy Jensen and Lisa Prideaux have beaten Judy Burnes 25-7 to advance, while Stratford’s quartet has edged Catherine Jones 22-15 in order to progress.
Three women’s fours, skipped by Lui Hare, Sue Hodges and Helen King have emerged with perfect records from qualifying.
Post-section play starts tomorrow (March 3), with the men’s and women’s champions to be crowned by Tuesday.
The Summerset National Fours are being staged across seven clubs (with a further four wet weather alternatives) in the Wellington region, with the finals to take place at the Naenae Bowling Club in Lower Hutt.