Wet start to Summerset Nationals

January 2, 2021

All 120 competitors in the women’s singles have advanced to post-section play at the Summerset Nationals after wet weather prevented the first and only day of qualifying to be completed in Auckland.

While play was relatively uninterrupted at some greens, others a mere handful of kilometres away were flooded by torrential rain.

A near full schedule of play was completed at host club Carlton Cornwall in Epsom, where Blackjacks Selina Smith and Clare Hendra and emerging player Lisa Prideaux were amongst those to qualify on their own accord after winning their opening three section games.

Seven-time national champion Mandy Boyd also won her opening three games at Blockhouse Bay in west Auckland, while 2019 champion Debbie White won two of her three.

But across the Harbour Bridge at Browns Bay and Mairangi Bay only one of the four round-robin games were completed.

Stoke Stakes winner Tayla Bruce was amongst those limited to just one outing and will perhaps be underdone entering tomorrow’s (January 3) post-section play.

Bruce will play Orewa’s Elaine McClintock in the first knock-out round at Carlton Cornwall tomorrow. McClintock won both of her qualifying games.

Post-section play will also take place at Glendowie, Howick, Browns Bay and Mairangi Bay with the quarter-finalists to be found by the end of the weekend if the weather allows.

The rain also had a major impact on day one of qualifying in the men’s pairs, which have been reduced to five rounds of section play.

Only two of the first three scheduled rounds were completed at Central, Pakuranga, East Tamaki and Papatoetoe, where Mike Kernaghan and Finbar McGuigan got the better of Seamus Curtin and Shannon McIlroy in their much-anticipated opener, 16-11.

Kernaghan and McGuigan followed that up with a comfortable second round win, meaning they need just one more victory to advance to post-section play.

Defending champions Ray Martin and Robbie Bennett made a perfect start at East Tamaki, while pairings at Howick and Birkenhead were only able to fit in one game because of the rain.

All three rounds were completed at New Lynn, where 2019 winners Jordan King and Chris Lowe beat Blackjacks Gary Lawson and Andrew Kelly 19-12 in the third round to book a place in post-section play.

Lawson and Kelly will need to win one of their remaining two qualifying games at Central Bowling Club in Sandringham to secure a place in the knock-out rounds.

Post-section play in the women’s singles and section play in the men’s pairs will start at 8:30am tomorrow, weather permitting.

The first national title will be handed out on Monday, when the women’s singles final is scheduled to be played at Carlton Cornwall.

The men’s pairs final will follow on January 5, when qualifying will then start in the women’s pairs.

Section play in the men’s singles will get underway on January 6, with the final two title matches on January 8.

The disabled and blind national singles and pairs will also take place from January 4-7.

All finals will be broadcast on Sky Sport Next.