Fast finish for late starters

MURRAY HILLS
Last updated 05:00 28/01/2013

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Barry Agnew and his lead, Ron "Rat" Gadsby, weren't going to play in the pairs, run in conjunction with the Taranaki Open fours men's bowls tournament.

But at the last minute they decided to team up and have a crack at qualifying. They did better than just qualifying, they went through post-section play unbeaten and won yesterday's final 21-10 over Hutt's Bill Jackson and his lead, Don McMurray.

"It's a thrill. I haven't won anything for a long time," Agnew said. "My last good win was in the Christmas pairs in 2001 with Peter Charteris - we were both playing for Okato then."

Agnew said he had only played in the pairs a few times. "Most years, we've been lucky enough to qualify in the fours. I don't usually play in the pairs because I'm too knackered." He paid tribute to Gadsby. "Rat played well. He's been runner-up in the pairs twice and I told him before we started that if we lost, he's the Jonah," he said. "We were lucky in the final to handle the green. It was a bit tricky, a lot tighter than the rink we had played our semifinal on."

Both teams had comfortable wins in the semifinals. Agnew beat Hawera Park's Dick Wadsworth and Geoff Calder 27-5, while Jackson beat Mike Hamlin and Murray Perrett from Stratford-Avon 25-13. The Fitzroy pair had one lucky escape when they came from behind to beat Paritutu's Mike Walsh and Russ Cooksley 21-10 in round two.

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