The Point Chevalier Pirates have got the Bowls3Five party started, beating Alex ‘Grizz’ Wyllie and the Woodend Jets to cap the opening night of the inaugural league, broadcast live on SKY Sport.
Aiden Takarua, Alex Reed and Jenny Stockford have combined to beat the North Canterbury club 7-4, 4-2.
Buoyed on by a boisterous crowd at the New Lynn Bowling Club in Auckland, the Pirates dominated the first set, picking up four shots on the fourth end.
The second set was a much closer affair, with Wyllie, his partner Jenny Anderson and Jets lead Na Katae settling into the match.
Neither Pt Chev nor Woodend was able to score on its power play and the match was locked up at 2-2 heading into the fifth and final end.
The Jets held the shot going into the final two bowls and were looking to force a sudden-death end. But Takarua, the young Pirates skip, stepped up to take the shot and ensure Pt Chev joined the Gore Rams and Stoke Thunder as first round winners.
“Na had been really nailing those long ends and it was just lucky it went that little bit longer for us,” Takarua said.
The young Rams opened Bowls3Five with a 5-3, 6-3 win over the Stokes Valley Vipers.
After a tight start to the match, Caleb Hope, 19 produced two clutch bowls on the fifth end to help the Rams win the first set 5-3.
Gore then used its power play to good effect in the second set, picking up four shots on the second end to take a commanding 5-0 lead.
Stokes Valley could only pick up two shots on its power play and the Rams were able to keep the Vipers at bay.
An ecstatic Gore skip Sheldon Bagrie-Howley, 23, singled out the work of his lead, Ashleigh Jeffcoat, 19.
“That little spot, she absolutely smothered it and it set us up,” Bagrie-Howley said.
“We have great support down there [in Gore]…and I bet they’re all watching and pretty happy now.”
The Stoke Thunder produced the most emphatic performance of the opening night, beating the Royal Oak Rockets 5-2, 7-3.
The Nelson club jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first end and the Rockets were unable to threaten for the remainder of the set, with former Blackjack Kirsten Edwards and lead James Pugh setting the table for Thunder skip Peter Hodson.
Hodson ensured Stoke didn’t fall into a hole to start the second set, producing a clutch final bowl to limit the Rockets to two shots after they held five.
Royal Oak then took its power play but was unable to make it count, with the Thunder picking up two shots.
The Rockets also picked up a shot against the power play to take a 3-2 lead before the match was decided on the fourth end.
Stoke picked up four shots, after a drive from Royal Oak skip Mike Galloway didn’t come off, to take an ultimately match-winning 6-3 lead.
“It was quite a crucial end,” Hodson said.
“It wasn’t intentional to leave the hole there but as it turned out…it gave us that breathing space in the end.”
The Royal Oak Rockets will square-off against the Stokes Valley Vipers in the opening match of round two tomorrow night (Wednesday, October 24), with the Gore Rams to then face the Woodend Jets before the Point Chevalier Pirates and Stoke Thunder cap week one.
Day 1 results
Gore Rams bt Stokes Valley Vipers 5-3, 6-3
Stoke Thunder bt Royal Oak Rockets 5-2, 7-3
Pt Chevalier Pirates bt Woodend Jets 7-4, 4-2
Day 2 matches (all broadcast LIVE on SKY Sport 2):
Royal Oak Rockets vs Stoke Valley Vipers – 7:05pm
Gore Rams vs Woodend Jets – 8pm
Point Chevalier Pirates vs Stoke Thunder – 9pm
For more information: visit http://www.bowls3five.co.nz or contact Bowls3Five media manager Brenton Vannisselroy on 021 039 0471