The Nelson men led their section while the women shared the lead in theirs after yesterday's opening day of the Bowls New Zealand national intercentre championships in Auckland.
The men made a slow start following a win, loss and draw in their opening round of section 4 at Birkenhead before remaining unbeaten in their next two rounds to end the day on 15 points. North Harbour were lying second on 11 and Southland third on 10.
Singles player Shannon McIlroy ended the day with three straight wins while the four of Richard Collett, Peter Hodson, Murray Scott and Jimmy Pugh followed their first round 15-all draw against North Harbour with victories over Wairarapa and Counties-Manukau.
The Nelson women won seven of their nine matches in yesterday's opening three rounds of section 2 play at Blockhouse Bay, with the four of Judy Heeman, Barbara McGregor, Mary Orbell and Colleen Earl unbeaten.
Nelson (+43) shared the lead with Bay of Plenty (+48) on 14 points but were second on differential, with Wellington and Auckland both on 10 points.
Nelson's singles player Val Smith dropped her second round match 25-19 to Southland's Pam Calder but scored wins over Central Otago's Imelda Holdom and Wellington's Clare McCaul.
The pair of Jo Edwards and Amy McIlroy also suffered a third round loss to Bay of Plenty after earlier wins over Wellington and Auckland.
This year's new format has all 24 men's and women's provincial teams competing over three days at clubs around the Auckland region.
Each competition involves four sections of six teams with the top two in each section qualifying for the quarterfinals.
The final two rounds of section play will be held today ahead of the afternoon's quarterfinals.
Round 1 - singles: Nelson (Shannon McIlroy) 25 Wairarapa (Ian Monaghan) 11; pairs: Southland (Ian Brown/Glenn Milne) 22 Nelson (Andrew Curtain/Gary Watson) 9; fours: Nelson (Richard Collett/Peter Hodson/Murray Scott/Jimmy Pugh) 15 North Harbour (Ross Haresnape/Bart Robertson/Lance Tasker/Brian Wilson) 15.
Round 2 - singles: Nelson 25 Counties-Manukau (Darral Gordon) 13; pairs: Nelson 16 Wanganui (Ray Park/Ray Savage) 15; fours: Nelson 24 Wairarapa (John Claydon/Graeme Tindall/Richard Anderson/Scott McKenzie) 16.
Round 3 - singles: Nelson 25 Southland (Craig Merrilees) 15; pairs: Nelson 22 North Harbour (John Walker/Steve Cox) 15; fours: Nelson 12 Counties-Manukau (Shane Drabble/Steve Dumper/Shane McGonagle/Phil Robottom) 11.
Round 1 - singles: Nelson (Val Smith) 25 Central Otago (Imelda Holdom) 10; pairs: Nelson (Jo Edwards/Amy McIlroy) 18 Wellington (Helen King/Lisa White) 10; fours: Nelson (Judy Heeman/Barbara McGregor/Mary Orbell/Colleen Earl) 18 Bay of Plenty (Mina Paul/Mere Eden/Missy Fitzgerald/Huia Ratana) 12.
Round 2 - singles: Southland (Pam Calder) 25 Nelson 19; pairs: Nelson 24 Auckland (Emma Waerehu/Rima Strickland) 10; fours: Nelson 15 Central Otago (Lynley O'Callaghan/Ruth Grant/Rhonda Hurley/Christine Buchanan) 11.
Round 3 - singles: Nelson 25 Wellington (Clare McCaul) 13; pairs: Bay of Plenty (Wendy Green/Lynette Mackintosh) 22 Nelson 5; fours: Nelson 21 Southland (Sue Kinkaid/Liz Tomlins/Jan Low/Karen White) 14.
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