Dunedin composite Janet Swallow and Cathy King have run out winners at the 2019 North East Valley Classic Women’s Pairs, defeating former Valley player Kay Hammond and Balmacewen’s Joanne Marshall in a commanding performance, 15-7.
Held at the North East Valley Bowling Club and endorsed as a Bowls NZ Summer of Bowls event, 48 players from both within Dunedin and further afield arrived in the southern city, with random team selections drawn at the Dunedin Casino as part of the cocktail meet and greet function leading into the main action on Thursday.
For those wondering, a prior indication is given to organisers to ensure players end up in their strongest playing position, though the surprise combinations offer a chance to link up with someone less familiar – in a feature of the tournament that is well received by all players.
Following five rounds of section play, the quarter finalists were found, with the top two from each section advancing to a straight-knock out phase in a bid to pocket the $2200 winners’ cheque and secure the 2019 silverware.
Despite windy conditions posing a challenging level of difficulty for the finalists on Friday afternoon, both Swallow (Mosgiel RSA) and King (Andersons Bay) handled the track well, racing out to an 8-1 lead at the halfway point and deservedly taking control of proceedings.
King, a promising junior bowler, proved on song throughout, with Swallow executing timely conversion shots and backing her lead when required. A gallant effort from Hammond and Marshall got the scores within six shots, but with only one end left to play, Hammond was going to need a full count to force an extra end.
Alas, it wasn’t to be and the more consistent performers of Swallow and King ran out champions, closing out an entertaining 15-end game that was live streamed and commentated by North East Valley’s very own Evan Roberts, with guest commentator Jim Scott on hand to call the shots.
Beaten semi-finalists in the main event included Vicki Robinson and Lynn Holdaway and the pairing of Christine King and Hilda Bennett.
In other results, Central Otago and Southland representatives Christine Buchanan and Lynda Milne combined to take out the Plate event opposite Margaret O’Connor and Jean Young, collecting a four on the final end to edge the win, 11-10.
Across rinks, Southland’s Bronwyn Stevens and local Valley player Doreen Fraser proved too strong for the Linley O’Callaghan and Cindi Ewart pairing, leaving nothing to chance as they romped home in demanding fashion to take out the Consolation spoils.