The big news on Day 1 of the 6th Women’s Invitation Pairs at Victoria was the forced withdrawal of reigning champion Leigh Griffin due to an elbow injury. Griffin played the first match and four ends of the second match before a fairly handy replacement could arrive in the form of New Zealand representative Mandy Boyd (Johnsonville). Boyd and Kirsten Griffin will be a favoured combination in Day 2 which could result in Kirsten winning the event three times running but with three different partners.
The big name casualty from Day 1 was National club singles champion Linda Ralph from Auckland playing with Johnsonville’s Lui Hare, who lost their first game against Wellington Centre title record holder and former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Judy Howat (partnered with Tui Opai) in the first game by four shots, and lost the last game to Griffin and Boyd by five shots.
Also relegated to the plate for Day 2 was former winner Patricia Wishnowsky (Petone Central) who teamed with Titahi Bay’s Jo Climo, but lost their opening match to the up-and-coming pair of National Secondary Schools Champion Nicole Toomey (Victoria) and Wellington Champ of Champ Junior Singles winner Kylee Matenga (Wainuiomata) by six shots.
Form Johnsonville player Paula Meredith, fresh from winning back-to-back Wellington Champ of Champ Triples and Fours titles, partnered with Victoria’s Kay Carr, had to rely on superior shot differential to qualify for the main event after being upset in the first match by Mary-Ann Wilson (Victoria) and Christine Allan (Bay of Plenty).
Other favoured pairings Serena Mathews and Sandra Keith (Canterbury), Karen Coombe (Wanganui) and Helen King (Victoria), and Val Symes (Canterbury) and Lisa White (Victoria) made it through to the Day 2 Main Event comfortably.
Full results can be found on the Invitation 2-4-2 Pairs page.