Big names through to 2nd day at Victoria Invitational

Some big names are through to the top division for Sunday’s play in the 4th running of the $4600 Victoria Women’s Invitation Pairs. Last year’s champions Helen King (Wilton) and Karen Coombe (Wanganui) were assured of qualification after their first two matches along with fellow two-winners Serena Mathews and Vicki Sheard of Canterbury in Section 2.

Tough competition is likely to come from Section 1 winners Kirsten Griffin (Victoria) and Jo Edwards (Canterbury). Kirsten was part of the history-making New Zealand under-18 team that beat Australia for the first time in March, while Jo flew straight from the Warilla club in Australia where she retained her World Cup singles title on Friday. Canterbury pairing of Val Symes and Sherrie Cottle came through as section runners-up.

Sections 3 and 4 weren’t so clear cut with qualifiers not found till the final ends were played. 2008 tournament winner Hayley May (Victoria) and dual indoor-outdoor international Dale Lang (Tawa) won section 3 despite losing their opening match. Both 3rd round matches came down to the last end with neither spot filled when the bell rang to finish the end they were on. Victoria’s Leigh Griffin and Mandy Boyd remained unbeaten for the day clutching their 2nd draw which sent the Mina Paul (Rotorua)/Karen Hema (Auckland) pair to the lower half of the field for Sunday.

Clare McCaul (Silverstream) and Patricia Wishnowsky (Petone Central) also held on for a last-game draw in section 4 which made the difference between winning the group and not qualifying dooming Nelson’s Marie Watson and Jo Collis to Division 2 for Sunday. Lui Hare (Johnsonville) and Jo Climo (Titahi Bay) were the other team to make it through with two wins.

Victoria and Island Bay players dominated the qualifying rounds in the inaugural $1500 Victoria 1-7 Year Junior Invitation Pairs with some form young players from other parts of Wellington dipping out of making the top section for Sunday. The field includes some class acts such as New Zealand under-25 rep Ryan Khan from Waikato, and Victoria’s own Jamie Coleman who won the Wellington Development Pairs in January.

Draw for Sunday 8.30am at Victoria:

4th Women’s Invitation Pairs – Group A
Kirsten Griffin (Victoria) & Jo Edwards (Canterbury); Leigh Griffin & Mandy Boyd (Victoria);
Serena Mathews & Vicki Sheard (Canterbury); Hayley May (Victoria) & Dale Lang (Tawa).

Group B
Helen King (Wilton) & Karen Coombe (Wanganui); Clare McCaul (Silverstream) & Pat Wishnowsky (Petone Central);
Val Symes & Sherrie Cottle (Canterbury); Lui Hare (Johnsonville) & Jo Climo (Titahi Bay)

1st 1-7 Year Junior Invitation Pairs – Group A
Aaron Love & Sarah Taukamo (Island Bay); Alastair Gibbons & Kris Gapes (Victoria);
John Hannaway & Ian Watt (Island Bay); Rhys Hakkens & Jamie Coleman (Victoria).

Group B
Tim Toomey (Victoria) & Ryan Khan (Waikato); Raj Sukha & Kenny Benfield (Island Bay);
Adrian O’Brien & Rav Maharaj (Naenae); Nicole Toomey & Donna Lawrence (Victoria)

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