Gary Low (Grasmere) won his third open indoor bowls title for the season when he skipped his parents Graham and Jan to victory in the SBS Bank sponsored Southland Triples Championship last Saturday.
The win gave the Low family a unique double after winning the South Island Triples Championship earlier in the year.
The two semifinals both produced very close encounters, with Low edging ahead of Peter Carnie, Elaine Carnie and Joanne Wilson 9-6 and defending champion Grant Fortune, this year playing with Mervyn Ryder and Shirley Fortune, gained his place in the final with a hard-fought victory over Beejay Simpson, Trevor Burgess and Julie Russell 7-6.
Unfortunately, the expected clash between the two Paterson Trophy skips never eventuated, with the Low combination proving too strong. The game was conceded early with the score at 14 shots to 2.
On Sunday, 11 players qualified for the playoffs in the Henselite Champion of Champion Singles and the chance to represent Southland at Hamilton in the NZ Finals during September.
Paterson Trophy reserve Brian Turner (North Invercargill) seized upon the opportunity with an all-round display of bowls to capture the title and join his son Darryn in Hamilton after the latter had won the Ashburton title one hour earlier.
Turner started slowly in his final against the under-rated David Craig (Myross Bush) but four shots on the fifth end turned the game back in his favour and although the scores were locked at 9-all after 11 ends Turner scored on each of the remaining five ends to clinch the final 17-9. Turner had accounted for Beejay Simpson (Grasmere) in their semifinal 17-12, while Craig downed Grant Kean (Limehills) 15-9.
The Southland Junior representatives were again to the fore in their annual clash at Balclutha recently with two Southland pairs contesting the final.
Mathew Heads and Jason Gray, and Trevor Burgess and Vinnie Rayner, both came through the qualifying rounds unbeaten.
In a titanic struggle the Heads/Gray pairing won the final by the narrowest of margins 8-7.
A third Southland pair, Kieran Butt and David Noble, were beaten semifinalists.
This weekend the focus will be on Timaru where the Southland team will contest the prestigious Paterson Trophy event and the opportunity to represent the Southern Zone at the NZ Welch Trophy finals later in the year.
The teams of Gary Low, Graham Low, Suzanne Mackie and Warwick Gray, and Grant Fortune, Peter Carnie, Beejay Simpson and Greg Heads will play a total of 15 games each of fours, pairs and singles against teams from South Canterbury, North Otago, Otago, Central Otago and South Otago to determine the outcome.
- The Southland Times