Southlanders excel at indoor bowls champs

Nine Southland players made the annual trek to the New Zealand Indoor Bowls Championships this year held at the Pettigrew Green Arena in Napier.

In an attempt to attract more entries to the event several changes were introduced this year, and more changes are proposed for next season.

Changes included reverting to six points to qualify, no draws for section play and all events completed over consecutive days.

Southland players to the fore were Jan Low and Warwick Gray who were in superb form making it through to the semifinals, from an original field of 310 teams, before succumbing to the eventual winners and nine-times national champion Grant l'Ami and Mike Phipps.

Four Southland players, Suzanne Mackie, Elaine Carnie, Brian Hotton and Graham Low, were among the last 64 players out of the 520 players who started the competition in the singles event but it was Low who carried the hopes of a Southland title only to lose his quarterfinal match in a close encounter with Grant l'Ami, 9-7.

Former Southlander Ashley Diamond was untroubled to win the singles final.

The triples competition proved too elusive for the Southland combinations but the team of Gary Low, Graham Low, Warwick Gray and Jan Low gained some success in the fours event, only to lose out on an extra end for a place in the quarterfinals.

Twenty-year-old Teri Anderson (Waikato) was the outstanding player of the tournament and the first player ever in 65 years of national championships to reach three finals in the same year.

Anderson was runner-up in the singles and pairs and was rewarded with a win in the triples.

On Saturday the Skelt Jewellers-sponsored Southland Singles Championship will be contested at the Centre Hall and on Sunday the Southland Junior Trials will be held, both events starting at 1pm.

The Southland Times