Sets countback separates Omakau 3Five champions

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Husband and wife pairing Dion and Pip Kiddey teamed up with clubmate Kyle McGowan, otherwise known as the Hawea Sandflys, to take out the inaugural Omakau Bowls3Five tournament over the long weekend in Central Otago.

Inspired by the Bowls3Five format and endorsed as part of the Bowls New Zealand Summer of Bowls schedule, the Omakau Bowling Club opted to try their hand at a tournament with a difference – moving away from the traditional competition formats and attracting players from throughout the lower and central South Island to compete in their inaugural Bowls3Five weekend.

With the sun shining for the most part, teams took to the green to play seven section games in a bid to find the top qualifiers for Section A and the remaining teams in each respective section.

Following section play, the Hawea Sandflys, The Remarkables (Bob McAuley, Margaret O’Connor, Christine Buchanan), The Fruit Heads (Les Wilson, Izzy Niles, Dave Heath) and The Wanaka Rockets (Ritchie Muir, Tom Malcolm, Marilyn Steel) topped the table, comprising the blockbuster action and rounding out Section A.

A thrilling round-robin between the four teams played out, with both McAuley’s side and Kiddey’s side finishing equal on game points. However, a last round tie-breaker loss to The Fruit Heads saw the Remarkables finish just one set behind the Sandflys, gifting the Kiddey’s and McGowan the overall win.

In other results, The Miracle Workers (Paul Spooner, Theresa Gallagher, Steve Dawson) proved too strong in section B, winning all three games to emerge as clear winners. Section C saw a count back on differential separate the two top sides, with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Lyn Somerville, Marty Geary, Ray Leeden) edging A Rose and Two Thorns (John Lochead, Barry Helm, Sue Helm), both teams finishing on four sets a piece, though with Somerville’s side enjoying a superior differential of +19, compared with -2.

Meanwhile, other placings saw The Bowling Stones (Julie O’Connell, Wendy Sutherland, Jeff Nowell) take out top spot in Section D, remaining unbeaten in post-section to round out the weekend’s results.

Speaking shortly after the event, tournament organisers Michelle Woodhouse and Pam Walker were delighted with the success of the first effort, recalling positive feedback from across the field and many teams already taking the opportunity to book themselves a spot in next year’s edition.

“It was a lot of fun, we were blessed with the weather and the players really get out there and enjoy the Bowls3Five format. It’s quick thinking and anything can happen and there was a lot of great bowls played over the weekend,” Woodhouse said.

“We had a fabulous two days of bowling and the weather held well. On the first day we had bowlers reaching for the sunscreen . . . the atmosphere was great and we have had a lot of positive feedback,” Walker added.

Walker herself is set to feature on the televised Bowls3Five LIVE league in the coming weeks, named as part of the Parajacks playing roster for the eight-week competition.

Results at a Glance
Omakau Bowls3Five Tournament, Central Otago

Section A:
Hawea Sandflys (Pip Kiddey, Dion Kiddey, Kyle McGowan)

Section B:
The Miracle Workers (Paul Spooner, Theresa Gallagher, Paul Dawson)

Section C:
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Lyn Sommerville, Marty Geary, Ray Leeden)

Section D:
The Bowling Stones (Julie O’Connell, Wendy Sutherland, Jeff Nowell)

by Sam Morton