Top scalps claimed at national bowls champs

GRANT HASSALL
Last updated 15:56 31/12/2013

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Johnsonville's Dale Rayner stormed back onto the national radar with a fine performance in the women's singles at the New Zealand bowls championships in Dunedin this morning.

Rayner's biggest scalp was United's Jo Edwards, the world's No 1 ranked female player, in the second round of post section play. It was a close run-thing, with Rayner prevailing 21-20.

In the opening round, Rayner had eliminated another Black Jack, Lisa White (Victoria), 21-9. Edwards had beaten her long-time pairs companion, Val Smith (United) 21-13, overturning an 11-1 deficit.

Angela Boyd (Taradale) beat fellow Black Jack Amy McIlroy (United) 21-13 in another second round game.

Sandra Keith (Dunsandel) is through to the third round after a 21-18 win and now meets Clare McCaul (Silverstream).

The first two of the final eight, who will contest the quarterfinals tomorrow have been found. They are Cathy Andrews (Paritutu) and NZ under 18 rep, Tayla Bruce (Burnside).

Meanwhile, in the men's pairs, Gary Lawson (Victoria), playing with Ben King (Wilton), survived a scare to advance to tomorrow's final 16 in the men's pairs.

In a close third-round game, a fine Lawson draw helped to net four shots and create a five-shot advantage with three ends to play against Kaikorai's Kerry Becks and Craig McCaw. Becks and McCaw pulled back a three and a two to level things up playing the last.

King drew a toucher and Becks' two push shots were fractionally wide of the target.

Blake Signal (Stokes Valley) and Alvin Gardiner (Elmwood), who won the title two years ago, made it through with an emphatic 24-1 victory against St Clair's Gary Andrews and Ross Stevens. Black Jack Richard Girvan (Onehunga) and Chris Le Lievre (Eastbourne) were equally dominated in disposing of Ken Fitness and Adam Booth (Mangawhai), and are on course to clash with Signal and Gardiner in the quarterfinals, should both teams win their opening game tomorrow morning.

Defending champion Ali Forsyth (Havelock), who is skipping Andre Smith, won the feature second-round game 18-16 over Andrew Kelly (Redcliffs) and Michael Kernaghan (Kaikorai). They are currently playing the strong local pairing of Blair Barringer and Robbie Thomson (Fairfield) for a spot in the last 16.

However, there will be no repeat of the 1995 triumph for Peter Bellis (Aramoho) and Lance Tasker (Birkenhead), after they lost 16-13 to Doug Thomas (North East Valley) and Brendon Hollander (Waihola) 16-13.

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