Grant Anderson's four back in the limelight

MURRAY HILLS
Last updated 05:00 28/01/2013
Grant Anderson
CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ
CHAMPION SKIP: Alton’s Grant Anderson bowls during the final of the Taranaki Open fours men’s tournament at the Paritutu greens in New Plymouth. Anderson and his team claimed their second Taranaki Open title with a 25-10 win over Palmerston North’s Brian Little and his team.

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Seven years after their first Taranaki Open fours men's bowls title, Alton's Grant Anderson and his champion team have added a second.

Anderson, with Bruce Phillips at three, his brother Mark Anderson at two and John Roberts at lead, outclassed Brian Little and his team from Palmerston North in yesterday's final of the TSB Bank-sponsored event at the Paritutu greens in New Plymouth.

It was one-way traffic in the second half of the final, with the Alton team dominating play after the tea break to win 25-10.

For Little and his team of Ian Monaghan (three) and brothers Ron Henn (two) and Brian Henn (lead) it was deja vu having finished second 12 months ago when beaten by Onehunga's Gary Lawson.

"The boys were too steady today. Even I was bowling OK," Grant Anderson said afterwards.

"The boys have been steady all week. They all chimed in when they had to.

"It's been a great week. Honestly, the last time we won we had weather like this . . . it's just awesome."

While he conceded the team had a wakeup call in section play when taken to an extra end by a Te Kuiti team including two first-year bowlers and a fifth-year player, Anderson said it had come down to consistency.

"The whole week, everyone has played well. JR [Roberts] was setting everything up from lead, Mark backed up from him and Bruce set me up a lot of the time by tidying up the ugly heads. He would fix them up," Anderson said.

As for next year?

"We'll be back with the same side."

The win added to the long list of Taranaki Centre titles for the Alton players. It was Grant's 19th, Roberts' 18th, the 15th for Phillips and the 14th for Mark.

Ahead 12-6 with the tea break looming, Little held one shot on the 11th end. But Anderson trailed the jack with his final bowl to pick up three shots to lead 15-6.

From there, the score just kept on ticking over with the Alton four ahead 19-7 after 16 ends. Little and his team pulled one back on the next and grabbed a two on the 18th end to close to 19-10. But that was as good as it got.

A one and a two to Alton on the next two ends pushed the score out to 22-10 and many watching thought the visitors would have conceded after the 21st end when they dropped a two. Instead, Little opted for another end but it was only delaying the inevitable with Anderson producing two superb deliveries to seal the 25-10 victory on the 22nd end.

In semifinal play, Little raced away to a convincing 33-21 over Mark Noble and his team from the Takaro club in Palmerston North, while Anderson had a much tighter contest against Paritutu's John Reid before prevailing 23-19.

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Reid had knocked out clubmate Rodger Hassall in quarterfinal play late on Saturday, winning 22-21, while Anderson beat Cary Pinker and his team from the Laird Park club in Whanganui.

Little advanced with a 23-16 win over Paul McKinnel and his team from the Te Rangi club in Southland, with Noble downing Peter Clark from Tauranga South 25-12.

Whanganui's Ray Park, who ended the run of defending champion Danny Delany on Friday, was beaten on Saturday by McKinnel, 25-17.

- Taranaki Daily News

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