West End is the place to be this Saturday when Taranaki's top women bowlers battle out the interclub competition.
Just one point separates leaders Inglewood from Opunake and Paritutu I, and with two full rounds to be played and a maximum 12 points up for grabs, the Vospers-sponsored division one contest is sure to be intense.
Inglewood have been splendidly served in the singles by Lorraine Crofskey with five straight wins. Crofskey has been on the outer with the rep selectors and that does seem interesting given her success and the failings of the Taranaki side in Hawera earlier in the month.
She will meet both Paritutu players on Saturday and will need to maintain her form if Inglewood are to maintain their slender advantage. Her clash against Marlene Barrowman, the Paritutu I singles player, with three wins to her credit, looms as one of two big games.
The other involves a fours clash between Paritutu I and Opunake.
Last Saturday, Crofskey inflicted the first defeat on Opunake's Bev Robinson, 21-18, after the latter had beaten Barrowman by the same scoreline.
The only other unbeaten combination is the Opunake pair of Kay Fleming and Wilma Crawford, who have had four wins and one draw.
The men's TSB Realty-sponsored division one competition for the Bill Smee Trophy on Sunday turned out to be very cut-throat, with just two points covering the top five teams after three rounds.
At Hawera Park this Sunday a further two rounds will be held.
I've lost count of the number of times Darren Goodin has provided the backbone of the Paritutu charge and so it was again on Sunday, with three victories.
Goodin shared the perfect record with Dennis Osborne, who proved he is better than his position in the second West End side suggested with three good wins.
Alton continue to be well served by John Roberts and Bruce Phillips in the pairs, after they recorded three wins. Alton share second position with Nolantown, whose four of Wayne Robinson, Wally Hurley, Scott Roberts and Russell Hardy secured two wins and one draw.
However, the big surprise from Sunday was West End I, who managed just three wins. Craig Johns dropped all three singles games, which is more than he has lost in the past two seasons of the event, while the pairs suffered through incompetent lead play. A reshuffle would seem inevitable to avoid the relegation bells ringing.
Sports awards and halls of fame inevitably draw disputes because of the difficulties of comparing the different codes.
However, I have heard no such negative feedback about Dave Baldwin's elevation to the Taranaki sports hall of fame last Friday. That does prove that the man's place is thoroughly deserved. And I can think of another couple of bowlers who deserve a call-up in the not-too-distant future as well.
- Taranaki Daily News
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