An unbeaten run by Darren Goodin in the singles has the Taranaki men in front after the first day of the Intercentre men's bowls competition in Auckland.
Goodin's three wins, in another exceptional display on the slick Howick greens, sees Taranaki in front in section one with 14 match points. South Otago and Wellington share second on 10, followed by Auckland, the defending champions, on eight.
Goodin opened with a resounding 25-5 win over former Dominion fours winner Barrie Andrews (South Canterbury), then brushed aside Monte Pawa (Far North) 25-14. He completed the clean sweep with a 25-23 win over Wellington's Rob Ashton in the third round. Ashton, who had lost his opening two matches, turned in a much better showing against Goodin, leading 16-9 mid-game. But Goodin drew the better to creep ahead.
In the pairs, John Roberts and Craig Johns scored two significant wins. First off they beat Wellington's Justin Goodwin and Lance Pascoe 18-17. They had trailed 17-11 with two ends to play. But they then pulled a six - all drawn shots - before Johns drove the jack into the ditch with his final bowl on the last end and Pascoe failed on the draw.
Roberts and Johns then beat Scott Cottrell and Dan Delany (Auckland) 19-15, but the wheels loosened in the final game, where they fell 21-14 to South Otago's Graeme Hill and Bob McAuley.
In the men's fours, John Garrud, Mark Anderson, Bruce Phillips and Grant Anderson also recorded two wins. They started with a 13-11 triumph over South Otago's Neville Thomson after leading by five playing the last end.
They lost 18-16 to Ron Bell's South Canterbury quartet in the second round, the final margin being greatly reduced with the Taranaki side scoring a seven on the last end. But the ship was righted with an 18-9 win over Cedric Campbell (Far North) in the last round.
Meanwhile, Taranaki will need a big performance today in the women's competition to make the quarterfinals, after winning four games from nine yesterday.
Those eight match points sees Taranaki trailing Canterbury and North Harbour, both on 12, and Manawatu on 10.
The best performed discipline was Gale Fache's four of Lorraine Crofskey, Yvonne Hardy and Girl Reweti who had two wins, which represented a major turnaround.
They were trounced 22-4 by Bev Morel (Canterbury) in the first game, but then beat Sue Crackett (Waikato) 18-13 and Gayle Melrose (North Harbour), the 2012 national fours winner, 15-7 in the last round.
Val McEldowney had one win in the singles, beating Frances Knight (Waikato) 25-15 in the first round. But then she lost 25-21 Gail Dick (North Harbour) and 25-13 to Feona Sayles (Manawatu).
In the pairs, Margy Carey and Kristin Stampa also had just one victory. They lost 15-11 to Janeen Noble and Mere Fryer (Manawatu) but then beat Doreen King and Shona Anderson (South Canterbury) 21-17. But they were well outclassed by current national pairs titleholders Serena Matthews and Sandra Keith (Canterbury) 28-7.
The top two sides from each of the four sections will advance to the quarterfinals.
- Taranaki Daily News
What name would you like to see the Taranaki rugby team known as next year?Related story: Change on cards for our team - no bull