April 23, 2024

BayOf Plenty Centre Champ of Champs Singles 2024

It was wonderful to have a centre event return to Taupo. A great facility and a wonderfully supportive club for  the game of bowls.

We kicked off the weekend action with the Men’s competition involving 17 clubs. It is always hard to go into an event knowing that you could be out straight away in the sudden death format but this weekend was particularly hard for Kawerau’s John Dowie who went down by only one shot in a nail biter 21-20 loss to Tauranga South’s Denis Duncan. Narrowly missing out on making the final 16.

There were some intriguing matches in the quarte rfinals with two pairings of Bay of Plenty’s most well known men players going up against each other. Taupo’s Dave Jones was first up against match hardened Mark Sarginson of Ohope. Both using their wit and guile to out play each other with it coming down to the final end where either had a chance to win it but it was hometown favourite Jones that secured  the victory 22-19.

Next it was Cliff Webber of Omokoroa, trying to continue the good fortunes of his club up against the seasoned  Eric Pattillo of Mount Maunganui. Many spectators expecting a showdown at high noon weren’t disappointed early on with both exchanging ends. But the pace of the game slowed considerably with a few tumble weeds interrupting play. In the end running out of time was the enemy for Webber, losing 19-12.

In the final it was the consistency of John Chelley from Whakatane up against local hero  Jones. It was a strong performance by Jones but Chelley proved to be a great opponent pushing Jones and pulling out some amazing shots. In the end local knowledge and home town support was enough for Jones to overpower  Chelley to win 21-18 and take  victory and  the title of Men’s Champ of Champ singles player of 2024.

In the Women’s competition we had some amazing match ups in the quarter finals. First was the game between Tauranga South’s Nicolette Aldridge versus Te Puke’s Janice Paap. These two have had some great matchups in the past and this was no different. Both with distinct differences in their style of play. Aldridge, daring and courageous and Paap measured and methodical. It was a close game with time the main factor. When it ran out it was Paap on top 18-17.

Another quarter had in form Jean Morris of Matua up against the seasoned professional Sue Hodges from Tauranga Domain.  Morris had moments within the game where she displayed  her absolute seasonal form, but it was in the big moments, where it is said class is permanent , where  Hodges prevailed. Her ability to shift a game back in her favour really showed as she had to fight the many changes of momentum. Eventually  Hodges won a fantastic game 21-19.

In the other two quarters it was Omokoroa’s Caitlin Thomson that had an outstanding draw game going, out classing her opponent Mia Bishop of Turangi 21-4. In the other, there was a clear tactic of Wendy Green, from Taupo, to slow the tempo of the game to upset the fast flowing flair of Whakatane’s Vinnie Smith. Local player Green eventually winning 18-12.

In the final it was the youth of Thomson, freshly out of junior ranks, versus the experienced and  professional  play of Hodges . Both had their moments in the game with Thomson showing some amazing draw shot saves and first bowl pressure. But Hodges was not going to let her settle using every ounce of her experience. She put on a masterful display of momentum and length changes until she allowed the game to settle into her rhythm. Despite a valiant effort by the rising star Thomson, it was not quite enough on this occasion. In the end it was Hodges who won 21-14 and secured the title of Women’s champ of champ singles 2024.