The availability of all of the province's top bowlers is the shining feature of the first men's representative side named for the season.
For the first time in many years selector Dennis Osborne and his assistant Alex McKay have coaxed all of Taranaki's top talent into the 14-strong squad for the Arnott Shield against Whanganui and Manawatu, which will be held in Whanganui on November 17-18.
The two most notable returnees in the Revital Fertilisers-sponsored side are the Alton duo of Bruce Phillips and Grant Anderson. They form the top end of the fours in the amber side, which appears to be the shadow seven for the big stuff later in the season.
John Garrud and Mark Anderson, who were both involved in the regional intercentre triumph in Wellington last season, complete the four, while the singles and pairs remain unchanged.
Incumbent Darren Goodin holds the singles spot, with John Roberts and Craig Johns the pair.
The black seven includes all four players who will contest the open singles semifinals on Saturday morning at Paritutu - Gerry O'Sullivan, Ian Lowry, John Gray and Dean Elgar.
That looms as an intriguing contest and the same players will also have plenty to prove in Whanganui, especially Elgar, who has been a regular feature in the top seven in recent years.
Sensibly, Osborne and McKay have largely gone with combinations - an all too infrequently used policy - in joining Phillips and Anderson together. That has also been applied with Scott Roberts' elevation to the top side, where he will lead for Russell Hardy in the pairs.
The Taranaki women's side, which will meet Manawatu and Whanganui at Hawera Park on November 17, has been named with a settled look to it.
Again the amber side appears to be heading towards the likely top seven, although there will be particular interest on how the middle of the four - Leanne Halls and Maureen Tamou - perform.
An interesting comparison between the men's and women's sides is that just one of the semifinalists from the completed women's open singles - Elaine Hodge - is in the team. The other three were not available.
Senior women: Amber, singles, Nellie Hewson; pairs, Margy Carey, Val McEldowney, fours, Girl Reweti, Leanne Halls, Maureen Tamou, Kristin Stampa. Black, singles, Jackie Moeahu; pairs, Lilac Pouwhare, Yvonne Hardy; fours, Ella Smailles, Elaine Hodge, Kileigh Barber, Gale Fache.
Senior men: Amber, singles, Darren Goodin; pairs, John Roberts, Craig Johns; fours, John Garrud, Mark Anderson, Bruce Phillips, Grant Anderson. Black, singles, Gerry O'Sullivan; pairs, Scott Roberts, Russell Hardy; fours, Grant Pease, Ian Lowry, John Gray, Dean Elgar.
Development men: Mark Kuklinski, Glen Brookes, Bryce Koch, Darryl Read, Hamish Kape, Dave Wilson, Steve Walker, Jordan Linn.
In addition to finishing the men's open singles on Saturday, the women's interclub competitions will be hoping for better weather as they strive to complete round one and then two further games.
Also on Saturday the South Taranaki Club-sponsored new centre fours will be completed at Hawera Park. The quarterfinals see favourite Gary Lilley (West End) meet Ron Ranford (Nolantown), John Hall (Hawera Park) up against Craig Johns (West End), Grant Anderson (Alton) play Graham Baxter (Nolantown) and Ray Muggeridge (Hawera) square off against Rodger Hassall (Paritutu).
Greens to be used for the Bowls Taranaki Vospers women's interclub events on Saturday, starting at 9am: Division 1 (interclub) at Paritutu, supervisor, P Symes; Division 2 (premier) at Hawera, supervisor, D Turner; Division 3 at Stratford-Avon, supervisor, J Waitere.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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