Havelock pair still in running

Marlborough bowlers Ali Forsyth and Andre Smith remain in contention for both singles and pairs titles following an eventful first three days at the national lawn bowls champs in Dunedin.

Just four Marlborough bowlers are attending the champs this year - Forsyth and Smith from the Havelock club and the Riverside women's duo of Valerie Symes and Rosemary Finch. All four competed in both pairs and singles.

Forsyth, back for his annual sojourn from Australia, impressively captured the national men's pairs title last season alongside Blenheim's Matt Gallop.

But, with Gallop not competing this year, Forsyth has aligned with the 1998 fours winner Smith and, despite some hiccups, the duo reached the post-section stage on Sunday.

The Havelock duo sailed through their first three matches, beating Lowry and Jury of Rahotu 15-13, Cook and Thomson of Balclutha 17-8 and Culbert and Thompson of Kaikorai 19-7, before slipping up against Monahan and Watson of Taieri 10-17, then Scott and Scott of North East Valley 14-22.

Fortunately, they were able to secure the vital fourth win in the sixth and final round, getting home 22-8 over Geoff Bovey of Tawa.

Both Marlborough men qualified for post-section play in the singles yesterday.

Smith began with a convincing 21-15 first-round win over Brian Griffiths of Caversham while Forsyth beat Dave Morris of Port Chalmers 21-4.

In the second round Smith accounted for Kerry Roberts of Forbury Park 21-19 and Forsyth beat Taieri's Craig Forgie 21-5.

In the afternoon Smith qualified for post section by tipping over his round-three opponent Kelvin Buchanan of Kaikorai 21-3 while Forsyth overcame Caversham's Graeme Carran 21-15.

Symes and Finch were knocked out the women's singles on Saturday but bounced back with two wins in the opening round of qualifying in the women's pairs on Sunday.

In the first round the Riverside duo went down 15-17 to Fowler and Kincaid of Balfour.

They recovered to beat Robertson and Young of Taieri 29-8 and Woodhead and Collett of Milton and Balclutha 19-8 on Sunday afternoon before losing 7-20 to Howat and Opai of Kilbirnie and Lyall Bay yesterday morning.

The result of their final qualifying match was not available at the time of publication.

Both Marlborough women gave a good account of themselves in the singles, winning two of their four matches but just missing out on the third win needed for qualifying.

Symes won her first 21-17, lost her second narrowly 20-21, won her third 21-0 before dropping her final clash by the same margin.

Finch prevailed 21-20 in he first, won her second 21-19 then lost her final two matches 16-21 and 9-21.

The Marlborough Express