Women’s Champ of Champs Fours
It was a hot start to the Women’s competition with many teams getting away to flyers and not allowing the opposition time to settle on the Matua greens. Taupo had a strong victory over neighbours Turangi 18-9, Mount Maunganui out played Kawerau 20-5, Tauranga were too good for Arawa 18-9, Ngongotaha overcame the carpet specialist Papamoa 21-5 and Whakatane proved that practice makes perfect, beating Matua 22-8.
In the other three games, Rotorua upset Ohope 13-11. Both teams having their chances but it was Mere Eden that showed the most consistent form out of all the players. Tauranga South’s Nicolette Aldridge was the difference in their game against Katikati that ended in a tight win 14-12. Omokoroa was unable to settle into early rhythm against Te Puke who played the game in an unorthodox but very effective way. In the end the class of Angela Stephen settled the Omokoroa team and gained the shots they needed to secure the win 16-10.
The quarter finals offered upsets galore. Most notable was the win of South over the class of Omokoroa. It was the team’s front combination of Carol McGory and Mary Smale that created the advantage over the Omokoroa team. While Stephen tried her best to settle her team again, there was too much pressure to contain and when Aldridge came on with some really telling shots the game was South’s for the winning 17-12. Whakatane fought hard to match the pre tournament favourites Ngongotaha restricting them to a low scoring thriller. Whakatane’s front end of Kate Robbie and Val Dye were in supreme form and had to be, against the class of Charlene Beckett and Mina Paul. Whakatane’s experience on carpet getting them out of jail, winning 12-11.
Tauranga, on a high from their National Interclub victory, cruised over the top of Mount Maunganui showing a complete team performance from start to finish winning 23-3.
Also, Rotorua pushed hard in their game against Taupo maintaining their balance by each player doing their part throughout the game when called upon. The final score of 19-11 did not really tell the true story of how close the game was.
The semi finals were a mixed bag. Tauranga who had been playing brilliantly all day came up against a feisty Rotorua team who were not going to take a step back and for most of the match led the way. Rotorua’s front end did most of the damage with Tauranga’s back end of Marilyn Constantine and Gayle Melrose holding the team together. Tauranga escaped with a narrow victory 14-13.
Whakatane, on the other hand showed a complete performance from lead to skip, all complimenting each other. For the first time on the day the middle pairing was unable to fire for South which forced their skip to have to play with weight or exact draws. This became too hard to maintain for any skip and Whakatane ran away in the end winning 19-10.
The final was a humdinger with both teams going blow for blow, end to end, not giving an inch. Each player in the team did their part to stop the opposition from getting the advantage. When all was said and done, it was Whakatane that took the victory on the very last end by less than half the width of a bowl. Tauranga’s Mary Campbell started the end by placing a bowl on the jack which Robbie sat out to secure the head for Whakatane. The seconds for both teams put there bowls close but it was Constantine that moved the jack to give her team the advantage before Tracy Ashley drew a bowl close in for Whakatane. Both skips were left with the task to draw to either win or block to stop the shot from being moved. Tauranga with the miss on the last bowl secured a well fought victory for Whakatane.