Hoping to roar on to the national Bowls3Five playoffs stage this weekend in winning fashion, the Taieri Tigers, much like their name suggests, should be treated with caution.
Already showing their wares on their local Dunedin circuit, the Tigers, comprising Bruce McDowell, Barbara Archer and skip John Killen may pack a bite at Naenae come this weekend, combining to create a formidable trio.
Speaking on behalf of the team, Taieri Bowling Club Manager Rob Gibson says the team are thrilled to be lining-up among some of the country’s top qualifiers.
“To be honest, I don’t think they realise how big this is . . . all eyes will be on them and our Club and the rest of the Centre will be wishing them the best of luck.
“It’s their chance to put us on the map again – and that effort certainly hasn’t gone unrecognised, with many of us celebrating and acknowledging what they’ve achieved so far at the recent Bowls Dunedin Awards Night.”
Held as a weekly competition throughout the centre, 16 teams entered the round-robin format, with five teams alone put forward from the Taieri club.
Teams were split into two sections, with the top two sides advancing through to the semi-final.
A clear indicator of the strength and depth of the club itself, three of those semi-finalists were from Taieri – with an all Taieri final playing out to conclude the competition.
Moving through to the regional play-offs, Killen, who has recently shifted south from Wellington, Archer and McDowell then went on to defeat Arrowtown at the Roxburgh Bowling Club, before going on to end the gallant run from Invercargill in a thrilling tie-break finish.
“It’s been a great run from our side, and we’re all delighted for them,” Gibson said.
“They (the trio) talk about it all the time and I know they are relishing the opportunity to represent the club, themselves and the centre on this level. There’s going to be partners, wives, husbands travelling through, so they will have plenty of support as they go.”
The Taieri Tigers will join Royal Oak, Nelson, Bowls Hastings and Takapuna in Section 1, while Auckland, Timaru Town and Country, Hinuera, New Plymouth and the Parajacks comprise Section 2.
The top two qualifiers from each section will advance to the semi-final, with the two grand finalists winning their way through to a place in the next edition of the Bowls3Five televised league on Sky Sport.
All action gets underway on Saturday 12 June from 12.30pm.