As another indoor bowls season winds down, the focus last weekend turned to the annual inter-island clash held in Timaru, the culmination of a tour by the North Island team over the previous week.
On the Wednesday, the combined Southland/South Otago team provided a stern challenge for their North Island opponents at a very cold Balclutha Memorial Hall before succumbing 33-15.
Suzanne Mackie (Southland) and Eileen Grant and Colleen Fenton (South Otago) provided the highlights, both securing two sets to one victories in the women's singles and pairs respectively.
Mackie was too strong for Teri Anderson in the first gameand although she lost the second game, was able to capture three shots on the final end of the last game to snatch the victory.
In the men's competition the Southland pairs and triples achieved just one win each.
Five Southlanders represented the South Island in the inter-island match - Suzanne Mackie and Elaine Carnie (women's fours), Belinda Peard ( women's singles), Gary Low (men's triples) and Brent Keen (men's fours).
History shows that in recent inter-island games the South Island has been notoriously slow in the first round, but that trend was reversed when a competitive South Island remained in contention for overall honours after they captured wins in three games in the opening round.
Three wins and a draw in the second round left the South Island facing the almost impossible task of winning six of the eight games in the final round and again the North proved too strong, retaining the Kevin Eddy Trophy 29-19.
Both Southland men gained inter-island medals for winning their individual events.
Low skipped his triples team to victory 33-9, 13-18 and 18-all, and Keen's fours team won a nail-biter 15-16, 21-14 and 17-15.
Mackie and Carnie were desperately unlucky to lose their match 17-18, 15-13 and 13-14 and for Peard the scoreline 12-26, 9-19 and 16-all, did not truly reflect the closeness of the battle and a drawn last game showed she has the ability to compete at this level.
At the conclusion of the event, Southland's Gary Low was honoured with his naming in the squad of 20 players (10 men and 10 women) to trial in November for the New Zealand team to take on Australia at Tauranga next year.
Limehills is the toast of the Central Sub-Centre after they created history in winning the annual Club of the Year Finals, a round-robin event of singles, pairs and fours, against the winning teams from each of the five sub-centres.
This weekend the Southland representative team take on Otago at Dunedin in an attempt to retain the trophies won at home last season.
- The Southland Times