Victoria continues national dominance


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Laurie Guy and Sarah Taukamo of the Victoria Bowling Club pose with the inaugural Summerset National Mixed Pairs trophy.

The inaugural Summerset National Mixed Pairs trophy is heading to the Victoria Bowling Club in Wellington.

Victoria club members Sarah Taukamo and Laurie Guy have beaten North East Valley’s Bronwyn and Roger Stevens 16-14 in the final at the Alexandra Bowling Club in Central Otago.

They earlier got the better of the composite pairing of Nick Buttar and Tracy Clark 16-10 in the quarter-finals, before edging Northlanders Paul Price and Ann Muir 13-11 in the last four.

“It has been amazing. This is Laurie and I’s first time playing together so it’s quite good we got on,” Taukamo said.

They got on so well they won all nine games they played, including toppling 14-time national champion Gary Lawson and past pairs winner Dale Rayner in the round of 16.

“Undefeated, undefeated. No one has beaten us yet,” Guy said.

“Hopefully we get invited back next year.”

It is a maiden national title for both players and a breakthrough for Guy.

“I think I’ve played the last 26 nationals, haven’t missed one,” he said.

“Couple of quarter-finals, but I mainly come here for the holiday and the camaraderie amongst the bowlers.

“Today we played three really good teams, four yesterday so we’re stoked, very happy.”

Remarkably it is the third national title for Victoria this season, after Nicole Toomey claimed the women’s singles title in Auckland in January and Leigh Griffin was part of the champion women’s four in Alexandra on Sunday.

And it adds to the club’s record-setting run of national titles in eight straight years, leading to Guy being asked about what’s in the water at the club.

“I don’t know if it’s about the water, we enjoy a Speight’s there though.”

Results

Quarter-finals: Craig Merrilees & Clare Hendra bt Sheldon Bagrie-Howley & Selina Smith 15-11, Bronwyn & Roger Stevens bt Ben & Helen King 18-9, Sarah Taukamo & Laurie Guy bt Nick Buttar & Tracy Clark 16-10 and Paul Price & Ann Muir bt John & Cherie Brien 16-9.

Semi-finals: Bronwyn & Roger Stevens bt Craig Merrilees & Clare Hendra 16-15 and Sarah Taukamo & Laurie Guy bt Paul Price & Ann Muir 13-11.

Final: Sarah Taukamo & Laurie Guy bt Bronwyn & Roger Stevens 16-14.