Alton duo in good form

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

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Pairs action this Saturday at Fitzroy is sure to attract plenty of interest with both the women's and men's events wide open.

In the men's event, Alton's Bruce Phillips and Grant Anderson have come through the toughest side of the draw, with all three post-section victims past winners.

Having already captured the centre fours this season does suggest the form of the Alton players is strong, although Anderson has struggled in the Bill Smee competition.

Phillips, while making an excellent fist of leading last weekend, is certainly no specialist off the front and that should present the other three sides with plenty of hope.

Alton will need to be on their toes in their semifinal, against Rahotu's Neil Jury and Des Lowry. Both players have largely been out of top-level bowls for many years. But both have the experience and ability to test anyone in the province.

Dennis Osborne has been one of the revelations of the season, with his transfer to West End breathing new life into a player who is far better than his solitary Taranaki title would suggest. His skip, David Bennett, also has the chance to prove he can still produce the top stuff at the business end of an event, in a bid to reclaim a Taranaki spot.

While Osborne and Bennett should be favoured against clubmates Jordan Linn and John Sexton, the latter showed plenty of grit to survive last weekend.

In the women's pairs, any result is possible from the semifinalists.

The Stratford-Avon duo of Lilac Pouwhare and Girl Reweti continue to make big strides in Taranaki bowls and the regularity of their partnership is an advantage. They meet New Plymouth's Faye Gecse and Maree Gadsby who were the big bolters from last weekend.

Compatibility will help Paritutu's Margie Davis and Barbara Batley and they will need to be on their game against Inglewood's Lorraine Crofskey and Joy Orr. Crofskey deserves success given the form she has displayed to date this season.

Taranaki players were unplaced in the national secondary schools finals, which finished in Hamilton yesterday.

Hamish Kape (Coastal) in the boys' singles, Simon Mullin and Jamie Fevre (Opunake) in the boys' pairs and Kelsey Jackson and Holly Gibbon (St Mary's) in the girls' pairs were all unplaced in the plate competition. All three combinations had previously failed to qualify for the main events.

The final two rounds of the men's division one interclub for the Bill Smee Trophy will be played at Stratford-Avon on Sunday.

While most pundits were suggesting Paritutu, who has a four-point advantage over Fitzroy, are home and hosed, the city club will clearly need a better showing than last weekend when no teams got past the first round of post- section in the Christmas pairs.

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Men's interclub: Greens to be used for the Bowls Taranaki TSB Realty men's interclub event on Sunday, starting at 9am:

Division 1 at Stratford-Avon, 2 rounds; division 2 at Hawera, 2 rounds; division 3 at Paritutu, 2 rounds; division 4 at Vogeltown, 2 rounds; division 5 at Nolantown, 2 rounds; division 6 at West End, 2 rounds.

- Taranaki Daily News

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