Southern men prepared to brave rain

HELEN HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 21/01/2014

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In Central Otago summer temperatures regularly hover around 30 degrees Celsius, so it might be hard to convince a team from Cromwell that New Plymouth is now sunshine city.

Bannockburn Bowling Club player Kerry Parker, who grew up in Taranaki attending Omata School and Spotswood College, said that he recalled that when he lived here there was a ''fair bit of rain''.

And that memory might come back to haunt him as the weather forecast for the TSB Bank Taranaki Open Fours Bowls tournament, on this week, does not look too flash.

Heavy rain was forecast for today along with southeasterlies that might reach gale force in exposed places.

And tomorrow - more rain.

Mr Parker along with team-mates Jock Stack, Ken Patterson and Doug Sanford, who all live in Cromwell but play for the Bannockburn club, are in New Plymouth for the week-long tournament.

The club, which had 30 members, was friendly and all their mates played out there, Mr Parker said.

Bannockburn is a small historic gold mining settlement near Cromwell.

The team came up last year for the nationals, Mr Parker said.

''And people said we should come to this tournament because it's social and friendly.

''So we thought: why not,'' he said.

The four friends took a week off work and made up a team for the tournament being hosted at Vogeltown Bowling Club.''We certainly don't think we'll win,'' he said.

They had already taken a trip to Stratford to have a look around and later in the week they plan to go to Whangamomona.This year the bowls tournament has 180 teams - 720 bowlers - taking part.

The numbers are down on last year when there were 192 teams.

Of the 180 teams, 101 are from outside Taranaki, eight teams are  from the South Island and four are from Australia.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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