Opunake win nailbiter to be top club

GRANT HASSALL
Last updated 05:00 03/12/2012

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Opunake are the top club in women's bowls in Taranaki for the season after they took out the division one title at West End on Saturday.

In a nailbiting finish, Opunake secured 29 match points, one ahead of an unlucky Inglewood. New Plymouth I finished third on 24 points, heading off Paritutu I on differential, followed by Lepperton on 23.

Opunake's shining stars in the Vospers-sponsored event were their pair, Kay Fleming and Wilma Crawford. They headed into the final two rounds with four wins and one draw from five matches and maintained their unbeaten record, accounting for Hawera 18-16 and New Plymouth II 27-21.

Singles player Bev Robinson posted her fifth win in round six, 25-18 over Barbara Bishop (Paritutu II), but then fell 25-13 to Nellie Hewson (Lepperton).

After a 22-10 loss to New Plymouth I in the morning, Opunake's four of Val Langton, Nell L'Ami, Eileen Rothwell and Joy Collins posted a resounding 21-7 win over Cathy Andrews (Paritutu I).

It was a disappointing conclusion for the gritty Inglewood side, especially so for Lorraine Crofskey in the singles. Crofskey beat Marlene Barrowman (Paritutu I) 25-15 and Bishop 25-21, meaning her record was unblemished throughout the whole tournament.

Margaret McCallum's four won in the morning round to ensure Inglewood's one-point buffer was still in tact heading into the final found. Alas, McCallum's side lost 22-15 to New Plymouth I, while Loris Ropitini and Anita Swafford were downed twice to deny Inglewood. The duo fell 17-15 to Lepperton and 20-14 to Hawera.

In the relegation battle, two wins in the last round by the Paritutu II side ensured their survival, with New Plymouth II taking the plunge.

By winning five of their six games in rainy conditions at Hawera Park yesterday, Paritutu extended their advantage to four match points in the TSB Realty-sponsored men's division one interclub competition.

With two rounds remaining, which will be played on December 16, Paritutu have 22 points followed by Fitzroy 18, while Alton and Nolantown both have 17. The battle to avoid the wooden spoon is just as intense, with Vogeltown and both West End sides on 12, two points clear of New Plymouth.

Darren Goodin incurred his first loss of the event, going down 25-11 to West End's Craig Johns, who returned to form with an equally comfortable afternoon effort over John Kurta (Fitzroy).

However, Goodin returned to the winner's circle 25-22 with a hard-earned victory over Warren Bellringer (New Plymouth).

The four of Mike Curd, Shaun Grace, Neville Elliott and Ian Andrews had the last to thank for their morning win, Andrews claiming the game with his final bowl, while they cruised home in the afternoon. Paritutu's pair, John Reid and Rodger Hassall, also won twice, with Reid dominating his opposing leads.

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Fitzroy was well served by their pair, Grant Pease and John Gray, and four, Ron Gadsby, Bill Johnston, Noel Probyn and Barry Agnew. Both disciplines won twice and have now won four games from five.

- Taranaki Daily News

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