Champion team is a family business

GRANT HASSALL
Last updated 05:00 17/12/2012
dennis stand
ROBERT CHARLES
West End's Dennis Osborne on his way to winning the Taranaki Daily News Christmas pairs.

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The Stratford-Avon mother and daughter combination of Girl Reweti and Lilac Pouwhare are on the top of women's bowls in Taranaki after winning the open pairs title at Fitzroy on Saturday.

The duo, while never headed in the final of the TSB Bank-sponsored event, got home in a tense decider 19-16 over Paritutu's Margie Davis and Barbara Batley. It was the second Taranaki title for both players, while Reweti also has two titles in Northland.

Pouwhare and Reweti started the final the better, leading 4-0 after three ends. Three ends later it was 7-2 and threes on both the eighth and 14th heads ensured Stratford-Avon still led 14-9 at the two-thirds mark.

However, Davis and Batley battled on. Combing well, the Paritutu duo won four of the next five ends to level the score at 16-all with two ends to play. It was all on.

Davis drew close on the penultimate end, before Reweti ran the shot off the head to lie one and then she drew the bonus with her final delivery to give her and Pouwhare a two-shot buffer playing the last.

On the change over, Davis again held shot before Reweti drew the ace and Batley's final push shot was deprived by a short bowl to give the title to Pouwhare and Reweti.

In the semifinals, Pouwahre and Reweti were always in control in beating Faye Gecse and Maree Gadsby (New Plymouth) 24-12, while Davis and Batley scored four fours on their way to a 29-17 win over Lorraine Crofskey and Joy Orr (Inglewood).

West End's David Bennett is still reaping great satisfaction from winning Taranaki titles. The 68-year-old collected his 16th on Saturday - he also has five in Bay of Plenty - when he combined with Dennis Osborne to win the Taranaki Daily News-sponsored men's Christmas pairs at Fitzroy.

"They are all good. It's just as a good a thrill as last time," Bennett said, shortly after winning the final 21-16 over Alton's Bruce Phillips and Grant Anderson. Bennett last won the title with Des Griffin in 1984.

After opening with a four, Osborne and Bennett led for two-thirds of the final. But Phillips became the more consistent player and a four on the 14th end gave Alton the lead for the first time.

But then Osborne and Bennett turned the screws. Bennett plucked off both Alton counters with two drives to score one. Both players drew inside their opponents for a two and three on the following two ends and suddenly West End were two in front playing the last.

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On the changeover Phillips held two, before Bennett's first delivery rested on the shot bowl. Anderson's second bowl, a drive, took off both of West End's closest bowls but in the process it moved the jack, leaving Osborne and Bennett with three. When Anderson's final drive missed the bare jack it left Osborne and Bennett with the glory.

Bennett also rose to the occasion in the semifinals when he drew the winning shot on the extra end to pip clubmates Jordan Linn and John Sexton 21-20. Phillips and Anderson withstood a late comeback from Rahotu's Neil Jury and Des Lowry to win 20-11.

- Taranaki Daily News

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