Taranaki's male bowlers continued their domination of representative play in the central North Island with a commanding performance in Wanganui at the weekend.
The team successfully defended the Arnott Shield, against Wanganui and Manawatu, while the development side also held on to the Duckett Trophy with a convincing victory over the same two provinces. However, it was not all gold for the Revital Fertilisers-sponsored sides, with the women's team slumping to third in their contest at Hawera Park on Saturday.
In the senior event, Taranaki finished with 29 points, ahead of Wanganui on 23 and Manawatu 20.
Darren Goodin was the leading light again for the senior men, winning all four of his singles games, with victories over Manawatu's Chris Barrett and Scotty McGavin and Wanganui's Warren Hausman and Alan Dickson. Gerry O'Sullivan won twice on Saturday but dropped both games yesterday.
In the pairs, Scott Roberts, on debut, and Russell Hardy managed three wins from their four games, while the incumbent pair of John Roberts and Craig Johns had a win and two draws.
Grant Anderson's four of John Garrud, Mark Anderson and Bruce Phillips were deprived on the last bowl of both games on Saturday. Firstly, Manawatu's Brian Little secured a draw with a fortuitous shot and then Manawatu's Phillip Skoglund drew a toucher to break the deadlock. Anderson's team had a win and a loss yesterday.
The other four of Grant Pease, Ian Lowry, John Gray and Dean Elgar had two wins yesterday, with Skoglund among the victims, after two losses on Saturday.
In the development competition, Jordan Linn and Steve Walker were the outstanding successes, the duo combining for four straight wins. Their other two fours members, Dave Wilson and Glen Brookes, were not far behind with three victories, as Taranaki strode away with the honours with a round to spare. Taranaki had 17 points, Manawatu 11 and Wanganui eight.
However, in drizzly conditions at Hawera Park on Saturday, the senior women were well out-pointed. Manawatu took out the event with 15 points, followed by Wanganui on 14 and Taranaki last on seven.
The only real success came from Gale Fache's four, which included Ella Smailes, Elaine Hodge and Faye Hopkins, who came in as a late replacement.
Fache's four accounted for former international Karen Coombe, and her experienced Wanganui side, 16-14, and then Manawatu's Sue Meyer 17-14.
Elsewhere, Jackie Moeahu had one win in the singles, while Margie Carey and Val McEldowney had a draw in the opening round.
How will the Hurricanes do in 2015?Related story: Supporting players light up Hurricanes bright start to Super Rugby season
Get Taranaki's frequent news and sport updates