National title for Leigh!

Mandy Boyd and her side of sister, Angela, Sheryl McLean and Leigh Griffin edged Sandra Keith’s team 16-15 on an extra end in the women’s final on Monday to win the fours at the New Zealand bowls championship in Dunedin.

The game was often scrappy, but the closeness of it maintained the interest until the last bowl was played. Keith’s side of Selina Goddard, Amy McIlroy and Serena Matthews did the best at the start, with Goddard leading well to open up a 7-1 lead.

But Mandy Boyd improved a count of one to four when she trailed the jack on the fifth end, and three successive singles followed to give Boyd a two-point lead.

McIlroy had a good spell, her bowls setting up a count of three for Keith’s side shortly after. But Griffin converted the subsequent two ends with jack trails, giving Boyd a 13-10 lead. Singles were the order of the day from then on, with Boyd holding just a one-point lead on the last end. Keith got the shot to force the game into overtime.

With her second delivery, Goddard hit in Angela Boyd’s bowl for shot. On the push, Matthews dislodged the jack, but it went back to McLean’s bowl. Keith, running twice, missed narrowly to leave the title with Boyd’s team.

“These are the games you come to the nationals for,” Mandy Boyd said. With the win, Angela Boyd won her gold star for five national titles, while it was McLean’s first, Griffin’s third and Mandy Boyd’s sixth.

And this is the fifth year in a row Victoria has come away from the National Championships with a title!

Boyd’s team of sister Angela, Sheryl McLean and Leigh Griffin were never tested in their semi against Doreen Bell, Mary Ross, Carolyn Crawford and Muir. They led 8-0 early and the contest was called off after just 12 ends. In the last eight, Boyd defeated Katelyn Inch 17-9.

Well done Richard, Jayden & Ray!

After ousting defending champion Peter Belliss 13-9 in their first fours post-section match, Ray Martin’s side of Richard Corry, Jason Johnstone and Jayden Ravji edged out Joseph Van der Pennen 16-15 in the last 16. They went on to lose their quarterfinal match against the eventual runner-up team skipped by Sheldon Bagrie-Howley (Southland).

Earlier in the tournament Richard eliminated three-time champion Ali Forsyth in singles section-play 21-20 while Ray upended one of the main local chances of sucess Shaun Scott 21-14.

Bradley Down skips side to upset win over Ali Forsyth’s dream team at national bowls championships

New Zealand development representative Bradley Down has already experienced a number of high points in bowls despite being just 19 years old.

He received another big buzz when he skipped a side comprising his father, Graham, Finbar McGuigan and Caleb Hope to one of the biggest upsets of the New Zealand bowls championship when they beat Ali Forsyth’s dream team in the opening round of section play in the fours in Dunedin last Monday.

Down junior, who has already won three Wellington titles, plays for the Victoria club in the capital these days, but Plimmerton is home and still the base for his father and McGuigan. Hope, from Gore, joined the trio in their outstanding 16-12 victory over Forsyth’s dream team and eventual champions of Justin Goodwin, Shannon McIlroy and Gary Lawson.

A four on the sixth end gave Down’s side the edge¬†and, aided by two threes during an otherwise low scoring match, that advantage remained three shots when the hooter went on the 16th of the scheduled 18 ends.

With the jack in the ditch, Forsyth held three but Down managed to take the initiative back before Forsyth’s final runner narrowly missed.

Down continued to impress in beating Scott Roberts and Dean Elgar 21-6 in the third round of post-section in the pairs but their story was in the previous game, when they overcame Tony Grantham and Michael Kernaghan 15-11.

Down led for the majority of the match, although the margin was only two shots playing the final end. Grantham called the tune on the last end, drawing three shots, but Down, under pressure, trailed the jack to secure victory.

In the pairs quarterfinals, Shannon McIlroy overcame a couple of nervous moments late in his 16-13 triumph over Bradley Down. He had already accounted for Down 21-8 in the round of 16 of the singles.

Well done Nina, Yvonne, Helen & Leigh!

Congratulations to Nina De Munnik, Yvonne Gibb, Helen King and Leigh Griffin reaching the final of the Wellington Open Fours this morning at the Naenae club. They went down to a very steady display by the home Naenae team skipped by Cath Jones 9-19.

This propelled Naenae and Victoria to the top in the early running for the Womens Club of the Year race.

The best placed Victoria team in the Mens event were last year winners Richard Corry, Chris Rintoul, Tim Toomey and Bradley Down who fell at the quarterfinal stage.