If the results from day one are anything to go by, the long awaited North vs South rivalry has been well and truly reignited as the South creep ahead after 10 games, with both Islands showing their hunger for success.
Hosted at the Hopes Dunedin Lawn Bowls Stadium, arguably some of the country’s best performed players in recent times have emerged on the “big blue” carpet to represent their respective Islands in a bid for Island Supremacy.
Held in a similar format to golf’s showpiece Ryder Cup, non-playing captains Sharon Sims (North) and Dave Edwards (South) have previously put forward their picks, with each Island comprising four men and four women. As part of the initiative, each Island features an over-65 player, an under-26 representative and a para bowler, comprising three of the eight positions throughout the team.
At the completion of 10 games, the South combinations have edged ahead by the slenderest of margins, bouncing back from two opening round losses at the hands of Selina Goddard and Seamus Curtin, both accounting for Tayla Bruce and Jonty Horwell.
Though, it was somewhat short-lived as Andrew Kelly, Sarah Scott, Val Smith, Kelvin Scott and Mike Kernaghan posted five unanswered points in fine style, taking the tally to 5-2 in favour of the South.
A final fixture in the singles saw Leanne Poulson pull back a point for the North, accounting for Pam Walker in straight sets in a thrilling match-up. Following the eight singles clashes, all attention moved to the triples with each of the Islands sharing a win.
In the first of the triples action, Nicole Toomey, Seamus Curtin and Selina Goddard were impressive in a tie-break win opposite Val Smith, Mike Kernaghan and Jonty Horwell, while the all Canterbury trio of Andrew Kelly, Kelvin Scott and Tayla Bruce hung tough to see out a win against Mike Galloway, Tony Grantham and Linda Ralph, 10-3, 8-8.
As the dust settled late into the evening, it was the South emerging as overnight leaders, 8-6, with plenty more points up for grabs as the action moves to day two. Day two will see combinations go head to head in the mixed pairs, before concluding the competition with two blockbuster clashes in the fours.
RESULTS AT A GLANCE
NORTH VS SOUTH 2022, DUNEDIN
Selina Goddard VS. Tayla Bruce WON BY SELINA, 8-6, 3-8, 1-0
Seamus Curtin VS. Jonty Horwell WON BY SEAMUS 10-3, 8-5
Tony Grantham VS. Andrew Kelly WON BY ANDREW KELLY, 7-5, 4-9, 2-0
Nicole Toomey VS. Sarah Scott WON BY SARAH SCOTT, 8-5, 3-8, 1-0
Linda Ralph VS. Val Smith WON BY VAL SMITH, 10-0, 0-12, 1-0
Mike Galloway VS. Kelvin Scott WON BY KELVIN SCOTT, 8-5, 8-3
Mark Noble VS. Mike Kernaghan WON BY MIKE KERNAGHAN, 11-6, 10-8
Leeane Poulson VS. Pam Walker WON BY LEEANE POULSON, 7-2, 8-7
N.Toomey, S.Curtin, L.Ralph VS. V.Smith, M.Kernaghan, J.Horwell WON BY N.Toomey, S.Curtin, L.Ralph, 5-12, 8-4, 2-0
M.Galloway, T.Grantham, L.Ralph VS. A.Kelly, K.Scott, T.Bruce WON BY A.Kelly, K.Scott, T.Bruce, 10-3, 8-8
1pt for each singles win, 2pts for each pairs win, 3pts for each triples win, 4pts for each fours win.