So thrilled were the Manawatu women at winning through to the national intercentre playoffs yesterday, they have made an offer to their male counterparts.
"We might actually start coaching the men," said unbeaten singles player Feona Sayles.
It was said in jest, given that the Manawatu men have been the national intercentre champions for the past two years.
This time the men were tipped out by a rampant Hawke's Bay at the Northern Bowling Club yesterday.
The women will play in the national finals at Naenae at the end of next month, faltering only in the fours yesterday, where Fran Frith's team surprisingly lost all three.
Manawatu needed to win just one game in round three to see off Gisborne-East Coast, and Sayles did it in storming fashion, thrashing Hawke's Bay's NZ development bowler, Angela Boyd, 21-2.
"I was quite happy over two days of bowls to win six games out of six," Sayles said.
The left-hander was also the singles player when her Northern club team won the division one interclub playoffs on Saturday.
"I was pretty much on a mission with that last game because my opponent, Angela, is a very good bowler."
Having Sharon Sims back was a boost, too. New Zealand's most decorated women's bowler and Anna Davis won all three pairs yesterday, as did Sims and Chris Quinn on Saturday.
"She [Sims] played really amazing bowls, with her beautifully controlled weighted shot," said Sayles. "It's been a really good week for Manawatu women."
The Manawatu men still finished runners-up, but it was obvious that things were sticky when selector Eric Watson paced up and down inside the clubrooms, watching from afar.
He was hoping they would storm home with three wins, as they did to win last year. They did nail the three, but by then Hawke's Bay were home in the pairs and fours.
Manawatu singles player Ross Ellery did his bit in his team's comeback, with two wins and a narrow loss.
Pat Horgan and Chris Barrett had a win and a draw in their three games, and Philip Skoglund's four had two wins.
Three of the four Manawatu teams won the regional interclub playoffs at Northern on Saturday, but the one most expected to do so, the Northern division one men, didn't.
They had only 3 1/2 wins to finish third, a long way back from Bowls Heretaunga (Hawke's Bay), who peeled off nine straight wins.
While their men stumbled, not so the Northern division one women, who rampaged through with nine straight. They had Sayles in the singles, Quinn and Sims in the pairs and Sue Meyer (skip), Anna Davis, Viv Lozell and Julie Palmer in the fours.
Palmerston North won the division two men's, but it took a 1mm measure to earn them a draw in the last round against Hawke's Bay (Heretaunga) to get home. Palmerston North won 4 1/2 of their six games, Brian Little winning both his singles.
The Northern division two women won the regionals for the fourth year in a row. They were the national champions three years ago and were runners-up last season. On Saturday, singles player Mere Fryer won both her games.
The winning Northern club women's fours at Palmerston North on Friday were Sue Meyer (skip), Joan Smith, Sue Way and Julianne Mills.
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