NZ's Mr Bowls still on a roll after years

MURRAY HILLS
Last updated 05:00 28/12/2012

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Belliss and bowls... the two are synonymous with New Zealand sport.

The former Wanganui rugby representative remains one of the most recognisable names and faces in New Zealand, despite having spent the best part of the past 15 years in Australia.

Peter Belliss, who competed at four Commonwealth Games claiming two bronze medals, returned to Whanganui earlier this year and is one of the big names playing in the New Zealand championships in Taranaki over the next fortnight.

The Aramoho bowler represented New Zealand at five straight world championships between 1984 and 2000, winning the singles in 1984, the pairs in 1988 and the triples in 2000.

The nationals have also been a happy hunting ground with singles wins in in 1981, 1986 and 1992.

He skipped the winning four in 2009 and also won the pairs with Robin Jefferson in 1992 and again in 1995, with Lance Tasker.

Belliss will team with Tasker in the pairs starting today at the Waimea greens in New Plymouth.

"I won with Lance in Palmerston North and we've had some success together," Belliss said.

"Lance used to live in Whanganui but is now playing in Mt Maunganui."

Belliss said he was enjoying being back in Whanganui.

"I'm retired and loving it," said the 61-year-old.

"I don't play that much serious bowls now, more social."

Belliss admitted to getting sick of the game in Australia.

"It's a 12-month game in Australia, you never stop," he said.

"And I was bowls manager at Cabramatta [south-west Sydney] for 10 years and you could never get away from bowls.

"It was good for a while but it does wear you down."

Belliss said he was playing in the singles, pairs and fours at the nationals.

"These days, if I happen to win a few games it's a bonus. I still play well at times but if you don't practise, you can't expect to be at the top level. I'll have some good games and some bad ones."

Belliss and Tasker meet Vogeltown's John Hunt and Kelvin Bishop first up this morning, before taking on New Plymouth's Colin Christie and Basil Newland in round two.

Their third round match is against another New Plymouth pairing - Warren Bellringer and Bowls Taranaki board member Eric Foreman.

In the fours, Belliss and Tasker are joined by Steve Beel, from Mt Maunganui, and Birkenhead's Michael Nagy.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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