Kensington & Manurewa Cosmopolitan dominate at Summerset Champion of Champion Fours

Champion of Champion Women's Fours - Kensington
Award presented by Bowls New Zealand President, Ann Wright

Counties Manukau representative David Clark has skipped his Manurewa Cosmopolitan club side of Shane Drabble, Bryn Morgan and Logan Clark to victory in the Summerset National Champion of Champions Fours, while Kensington’s Diane Strawbridge, Dawn Owens, Janice Little and Barbara Hopper finished strong to prevail in the women’s final on Sunday.

Champions Manurewa Cosmopolitan with Bowls New Zealand President, Ann Wright

Hosted at both the Bowls Royal Oak and Pukekohe Cosmopolitan clubs, 21 men and 22 women combinations converged to contest the final stage of a three-tier competition, with play first commencing at club championship level throughout the season. The format requires three out of four wins to progress to post-section play, with a neat eight pairings making the cut in both the men’s and women’s action heading into Finals’ Day.

In a tight tussle throughout the men’s final, Clark’s line-up proved too strong over the 15-end contest, defeating the star-studded Elmwood Park side of Gary Lawson, Nathan Glasson, Kelvin Scott and Ricky Cook, 15-10.

With Lawson leading 10-6 after 11 ends, the game looked to be going the way of the Elmwood four. However, nine unanswered shots in the remaining four ends saw Clark and Co comfortably close out the silverware and complete a successful campaign.

The semi-finals saw Lawson defeat Onerahi quartet Warwick Edgar, Dean McMurchy, Hugh Fidler and Ian Bowick, 17-13, while Clarke and Co dispatched the vastly experienced Alexandra combination of Trevor Drake, Bill Clements, Shaun Scott and Lindsay Thomas, 16-3.

Beaten quarter-finalists were Birkenhead’s Daymon Pierson (Steven Yates, Jack Huriwai, Jimmy Heath), Fairlie’s Mitch Dunbar (Bruce Dunbar, Terry O’Connor, Stuart Barwood), Invercargill’s George Amos (Mike Ineson, Graham Thomson, Dave Clark) and Palmerston North’s Brian Little (Ian Monaghan, John Dunlop, Terry Johnston).

Across rinks, the women’s final saw a thrilling contest between Strawbridge and Balmoral’s Tessa Farley play out, serving as a stark reminder that it often only takes one end to change the outcome of a game.

Leading 16-11 after 13 ends, Farley and her side of Margaret Rouse, Katy Merrett (first year bowler) and Linda Farley had one hand on the trophy, though within the blink of an eye, had dropped a six and a five count to lose their grip on the game in the final two ends, finishing runner-up, 21-16.

The semi-finals saw Strawbridge defeat Waihi Beach RSA hopefuls Kathyrn McGaughey (Erin Schumacher, Lyn Brooks, Julie Scelly), 12-11, while Farley comfortably overcame Omakau’s Pip Kiddey (Angela Wilson, Nikki Milne, Trish Harris), 21-10.

Beaten quarter-finalists were Far North RSA representatives Anne Lomas (Liz Muru, Evelyn Bradley, Jill Phillips), Waimate’s Mata Frankum (Carol Lee, Margaret Powell, Carol Clark), Invercargill’s Sharon Siegruhn (Glenice Paisley, Robyn Clarke, Pam Calder) and Bowls Hasting’s Chris Telford (Michelle Robinson, Trish McGrail, Mere Nepia).

That concludes the 2023 Summerset National Champion of Champions Series - congratulations to all placegetters. Here’s a quick recap of this year’s winners:

Tony Grantham (Mt Albert)
Briar Atkinson (Paritutu)

Keanu Darby, Roger Stevens (North East Valley)
Jenny Anderson, Helen McIsaac (Picton)

Sheldon Bagrie-Howley, Thomas Cockerill, Elliot Mason (Gore)
Kaye Bunn, Val Mathews, Adele French (Thames Coast)

David Clark, Shane Drabble, Bryn Morgan, Logan Clark (Manurewa Cosmopolitan)
Diane Strawbridge, Dawn Owens, Janice Little, Barbara Hopper (Kensington)


-Sam Morton