Women's Centre Pairs 2024

March 22, 2024

Bay of Plenty Womens Open Pairs 2024

Championship Pairs in the Bay of Plenty was always going to throw up some upsets and the 2024 Women’s event didn’t disappoint. Qualifying at Arawa was a challenge for many with the greens running on the slower side despite looking absolutely awesome as usual.

When you have names like Karen Hema, Angela Stephen, Sally Cox, Wendy Green and Raewyn Willis falling to qualify you know how tough a day it was. Only nine teams from the twenty six entries made it through to the second day.

The post section was played at Matua and in the round of 16 it was in form Charlene Beckett and Mina Paul that set the pace after taking out Marilyn Constantine and Mary Campbell in a nail biter, 18-14. Then in the quarter finals, they played Sue Hodges and Caitlin Thomson in a match that was counter punch after counter punch, until the Beckett combo delivered the knockout punch to win10-8.

Lynda Boschat and Jean Morris, who were always going to be hard to beat at home, won their quarter final 23-4 against Leoni Renata and Sue Crackett. Then in the semi final they upset hot favourites Beckett and Paul in a classic match that had the crowd applauding each shot in the final end, to win 16-13.

On the other side of the draw it was the team of PK Tamehana and Mere Eden who were giving out lessons on how to play pairs to the highest level. The well balanced combination, with the hypnotic rhythm of Eden and the power and preciseness of Tamehana, was always going to be hard to beat. They won 19-8 against Rachelle Morrison and Karen Pickering in a quarterfinal match, before disposing of defending champions Margaret O’Regan and Chris Allan, 16-7 in the semi-final.

The final was a humdinger with both teams slamming down their flags into the ground early and the crowd splitting into two distinctive groups. It felt like a home game for Ngongotaha as they had so many representatives in the post section staying around to support. But the local crowd weren’t about to be out done getting many of their members to come down to support their own Matua team. It was Boschat and  Morris who threw the first punch, picking up a five on the third end and then a three on the seventh end to lead 11-4.

The lead battle was epic with either Eden or Morris often holding two close ones for their teams as the skips walked to the other end. Tamehana picked up two shots in successive  ends to close the gap to11-8. Then Morris said “not in my house” and with Boschat adding a crucial extra shot each end, they began to pile on the pressure. At 15-8 with only five ends to go, many teams would have folded but with the supporters help theNgongotaha team fought back with a three and then a series of singles.

It was15-14 to Matua going into the last of the 16 ends. There was massive murmur in the crowd with everyone giving out their advice of what they would do in this situation and who was going to win and why. It was Morris that pounced first putting one bowl a foot behind the jack and then a side toucher. Not to be outdone, Eden put her two bowls in the area a foot short and two feet through, waiting in a catching position. It then came down to the skips. Boschat played position while watching her opposite attempting to wrestle the jack off the shot bowl. Tamehana’s last bowl was slightly on the narrow side missing the head and leaving the local crowd erupting into applause!