Warren Brown fought off a determined challenge from veteran Colin Wratt to win the Marlborough Open Men's singles title at the Blenheim Bowling Club on Sunday, his second centre title in as many weeks.
Despite Wratt coming back from an early deficit to trail just 7-8 midway through the final, Brown kicked on, applied the pressure through accurate draw bowls, and pulled away to win comfortably, 21-11.
The result was great news for Brown's club, Awatere, the smallest club in Marlborough, and the winner was also very pleased to have won his ninth centre title and first open singles crown.
Brown, a former Kaikoura club player now registered with Awatere and Riverside but playing under Awatere colours over the weekend, felt the final was closer than the scoreline suggested.
"It was tight at 7-8. Then I started putting the pressure on with draw bowls and if I had to, I moved the shot bowl.
"Colin played well.
"He's a dangerous fighter and you can't give anyone a break in this game."
Brown won seven straight matches over Saturday and Sunday, including a hard-fought 21-15 semifinal win over Salve Muollo from Springlands.
Wratt came back from the brink to beat Brown's winning pair's partner from last week, Josh Boyd, 21-20, in a thriller.
Takahanga's Boyd looked set to meet Brown in the final, leading 20-14 in the race to 21.
However, the wily Blenheim club player scored two threes and a single to snatch a fine win.
Meanwhile, the Blenheim team, skipped by Val Montgomerie, of Beryl Macdonald, Dot Capill and Roberta Marshall formed a deadly combination in the Marlborough women's open fours at Springlands at the weekend.
They took out the final in convincing fashion, 21-6, over the Springlands team of Chris Wooster, Eileen Rowe, Val Tringham and Josephine Romano.
Springlands conceded with two of the 14 ends still to play.
It was Marshall's first centre title, Montgomerie's seventh, Capill's fourth and Macdonald's third.
In the semifinals, Havelock's team of Barbara Lancaster, Colleen Robbins, Frances Bradley and Karen Day at skip lost to Blenheim, 9-19, despite Havelock picking up five shots on the first two ends. Blenheim fought back to score a three, a five on the seventh and four more on the 12th end to seal the win.
Havelock conceded after 13 of the scheduled 14 ends.
In the other semifinal, Springlands beat Riverside's combination of skip Lisa Hart, Pauline Bailey, Annette Broadhurst and Rosemary Finch, 13-7.
- The Marlborough Express
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