July 4, 2022

Wairarapa’s Tanya Wheeler and Onerahi’s Dean McMurchy have taken out the first of this year’s National Champion of Champion titles, wrapping up the singles in fine fashion overnight (Sunday).

Held at the indoor complex at Bowls Hastings, 41 centre champions took to the rinks in a bid for national glory, marking the culmination of a three-tiered pathway from club championships, centre champion of champion fixtures and the national event.

In an entertaining final, Wheeler and her opponent Linda Ralph, of the Carlton Cornwall Club in Auckland, traded shots for the most part, before Wheeler picked up an all-important four and a single to bridge a trailing deficit and close the game out in a race to 21.

For Wheeler, representing the Martinborough Club, the win marked her first national title, completing an unbeaten run throughout, winning all seven fixtures on her way to the silverware.

following the women’s final, the men’s action saw McMurchy defeat Helensville representative Bart Robertson in the final fixture, with the Northlander continuing to show his consistency on the draw, repeatedly piling on the pressure and playing the conversion shots when required.

The win also marked McMurchy’s first national title, rounding out a strong post-section showing against some top level opposition.

Earlier in the competition, McMurchy ended the impressive title run of Manurewa Cosmopolitan’s Dave Clark by a solitary point, while Robertson was in outstanding form against Waipukurau hopeful James Burne, running out victor, 21-14.

Beaten semi-finalists in the women’s field include former New Zealand representative Amy McIlroy and Papakura’s Leanne Poulson, all semi-finalists receiving a bronze medal for their efforts.

Other qualifiers included Stephen Ditfort (Petone Central), Ricky Cook (Redcliffs Mt Pleasant), John O’Shea (Tauranga), Ross Ellery (Foxton & Beach), Simon Hitchcock (Riverside), Dean Elgar (West End), Kathyrn McGaughey (Waihi Beach RSA), Natarsha Grimshaw (Kia Toa) and Beth Brown (Taieri).

All eyes now turn to the National Champion of Champion Pairs as the action heads south to Dunedin, commencing Friday 8 July and running through to Sunday.

National Champion of Champion Singles Bowls Hastings, 1-3 July 2022

Men Dean McMurchy (Onerahi) def Bart Robertson (Helensville): 21-11
Women Tanya Wheeler (Martinborough) def Linda Ralph (Carlton Cornwall): 21-19