Taranaki finished last in its representative bowls fixture with Manawatu and Hawke's Bay during the weekend at Palmerston North - but all was not lost.
Hawke's Bay claimed the overall honours with 58 match points, while both Manawatu and Taranaki had 43 from the combined men's and women's sections, although the hosts took second place with a superior differential.
The women's A side was the best performed Taranaki combination, finishing with eight wins from its 12 matches. The women's B side had three wins, the men's A side seven victories, while the men's B team won three and drew one.
Val McEldowney looked comfortable in the singles, winning her opening three games, before Sharon Groves (Manawatu), and the bell, beat her in the last round 24-19.
There was also respectability from the pair of Margy Carey and Kristin Stampa who posted three narrow victories. They were well outpointed 26-14 by Hawke's Bay B on Saturday afternoon.
The top fours side of Lorraine Crofskey, Yvonne Hardy, Girl Reweti and Gale Fache won both games on Saturday, but it was the reverse yesterday, with the side losing both.
In the B team, Ella Smailes and Maureen Tamou had two wins, and Pauline Davy's four managed to get on the right side of the ledger once. Kileigh Barber dropped all four singles games, and frustratingly, two were by a single point.
Men's selector Dennis Osborne said he was "reasonably happy" with the weekend's "good workout" before the intercentre event, which starts in Auckland on Friday.
The top fours side of John Garrud, Mark Anderson, Bruce Phillips and Grant Anderson scored three wins from four matches, its loss being forced by a well-rounded Manawatu quartet skipped by Pat Horgan.
The pair of John Roberts and Craig Johns were not at their best, scratching around on the heavier surface. They managed two wins, including a 17-15 effort over Manawatu's Craig Gush and Philip Skoglund.
In Darren Goodin's absence, Dave Wilson, on debut at senior level, recovered from a 25-6 hiding from Paul Harrison (Hawke's Bay) in his opening match to win two matches in an encouraging performance.
Taranaki's second seven didn't fare as well. Neil Jury lost the lot in the singles, Scott Roberts and Russell Hardy won twice in the pairs, while David Bennett's four had one win and one draw.
There was better news at the Hokowhitu club, where Hamish Kape (Okato) and Daryl Read (Opunake) qualified for the national finals of the Kittyhawk under-19 singles.
Kape went through the qualifying tournament unbeaten, while Read rebounded from a first-up loss to win the rest and finish second. The national final is in Auckland at Easter.
- Taranaki Daily News
How will the Hurricanes do in 2015?Related story: Supporting players light up Hurricanes bright start to Super Rugby season
Get Taranaki's frequent news and sport updates