Mens Champ of Champ Fours
It was a beautiful day in Matua and such a wonderful facility and welcoming club. It was an early start for a bye round game between Tauranga South and Turangi. It seemed that both teams were getting to grips with the green’s pace and both not wanting to make any mistakes. South eventually winning 16-11.
In the bottom section of the last sixteen, Te Puke took on South but it was clear that the early extra game helped South as they leaped out to an early lead with Stu Owen leading the way with great consistency for a South win 15-4.
In the Omokoroa clash with Ohope it was the battle of the carpet. Ohope were quick to find their stride but Omokoroa hung in through the bowls of their skip Bill de Graaf. Ohope won 15-10.
In the game between Whakatane and Mount Maunganui it was Mount that hopped away to a great start with the front end playing solid. Whakatane then began to win ends regularly with one shot amongst the Mount bowls. It came down to a last end shoot out but it was Paul Anderson that extinguished the attack of Whakatane with a side toucher and a close back bowl for a win 16-14 to the Mount.
Katikati against Ngongotaha was the battle of the front ends. Katikati’s Kevin Mahon led spectacularly, forcing Michael Staite, playing two for Ngongotaha, to pcreate some great bowls to keep them in the game. However once the back end of Katikati kicked in it was all over with Katikati winning 17-10.
In the top half of the draw it was a blow out in three of the games. Papamoa winning 20-6 over Taupo, Arawa 24-6 against Rotorua East and Tauranga heading Rotorua 14-7.
It was a close fourth game between Kawerau vs Matua. The home team set the pace with Kawerau matching them end after end. It was a power play in the middle of the game when Kawerau drove to clear the shot and pick up a four that made the difference. Kawerau winning 15-10
In the quarter finals the bottom section involved thrillers again and it came right down to the last end between Ohope and Tauranga South. It was a stunning two bowls by Ohope’s Brian Hill that sealed it. He pushed a short bowl in for shot then drew a close second on the alternative hand that ultimately won the game stopping any chance for South’s skip, Anthony Ouellet, to save his team. Ohope winning 14-12.
In the other match, Mount against Katikati, it was Katikati always finding a way to stay in the game sticking a crucial bowl in the head each time. But it was Mount’s Steve Beel that played his heart out to keep his team in it with critical bowls when Katikati often had a chance to pick up extra shots. Mount eventually winning 16-10.
In the top section of the draw it was a blow out again with Papamoa’s front end absolutely dominating Arawa. It was a complete team performance by Papamoa and it was just the shear brilliance of skip Scott Ivimey killing ends and cutting down shots that kept Arawa in the game. Papamoa winning 19-6.
Kawerau showed their championship contention when they took apart pre tournament favourites Tauranga with a resounding 20-3 win. It was a complete performance by Kawerau with their front end and back end playing outstandingly well. John O’Shea, the skip, did his best to keep Tauranga in the match but with so much pressure he was not allowed to settle into any drawing form.
In the semifinals it was a reversal with the bottom section of the draw having the blow out with Mount dominating carpet specialist Ohope and forcing them to shake hands early when 19-7 down.
In the top half it was like watching a middle weight boxing match. Lots of punches thrown but no one going down where neither team wanted to throw the big punch or look stupid when it didn’t work. It came down to the last bowl when Papamoa’s skip Gary Bodger came up an agonising few inches short with his final bowl, to lose the game 8-9.
The final was great to watch with talent spread over both teams. Kawerau’s Wayne Phillips never let the Mount team settle with some unorthodox driving at lead. Billy McLean chimed in with some amazing hit and stay shots and Jerekiah McLean, at three, showed some touches of brilliance to drag the jack and sit bowls. Their skip Lance Hoete was playing some great shot conversions and turnovers with some heavy runs to kill ends when required. For the Mount it was the front end of Nathan Arlidge and Anderson that were extremely consistent. Beel also played a scorcher in one particular end to rest on the jack and slide it over to create two shots, from being two down. But the game ultimately came down to the brilliance of Nic Tomsett in the eleventh end when the Mount were two down. He drew his first close but with his last played a run shot that took out both Kawerau shots, for a six shot turn around. After which the Mount never looked back, winning 21-12 to take the title.