The tried and true came through in the Taranaki champion-of-champions triples yesterday - but it was a close run thing in both finals.
Fitzroy's Rhonda Adams, Vickie Kelly and Joan Richards successfully defended the women's title when they grabbed a two on the last end of the Shifty's Sports Bar and TAB-sponsored final to pip Paritutu's Judy Parlane, Val Keightley and Dulcie Bishop 17-16. It was their third triumph in five years in the event.
In the men's final at Lepperton, Alton's John Roberts, Mark Anderson and Grant Anderson also won the title as a team for a third time when they beat West End's Tony Penn, Jordan Linn and Steve Walker 23-16.
There was little in the women's final at Waitara. Richards led 4-0 early, but after 13 of the 21 ends, Bishop was in front 11-7.
However, a two followed by a three put Richards back in front.
After 18 ends it was 14-14 and then Paritutu grabbed a two. A single to Fitzroy on the penultimate end reduced the deficit to one. Up stepped Adams and Kelly, both drawing a shot, and there they remained to give Fitzroy the title.
It was the fourth Taranaki crown for both Kelly and Richards and a third for Adams.
In the semifinals, Richards squeaked past Waitara's Joy Clouston 21-19, while Bishop beat Opunake's Joan Barrett 23-16.
Experience was all that separated the Anderson and Walker sides in the men's final.
The victory carried extra meaning for Roberts as he became the second man in the province to hit the 20 mark. Mark Anderson now has 16 and Grant Anderson 21.
Anderson led 10-2 after seven ends, before the West End side - all juniors - climbed back into the match.
Skip Walker converted a couple of heads as the game tightened and then on the 17th head, West End hit the front 15-14.
But it was the Alton front stuff that called the tune on the next. They held three on the changeover, Grant Anderson drew two and Walker was astray with first a drive and then a draw.
The count of five gave the impetus back to Alton. The sides then exchanged singles and while Walker killed the first attempt at the last end, the four-shot deficit was too great.
Grant Anderson was full of praise for Roberts.
"He won the battle up front and laid the platform for the win. I'm just so rapt to have been with John when he won his 20th."
In the semifinals, Anderson beat Graham Hill (Vogeltown) 28-7 and Walker accounted for Kevin Mischefski (Stratford-Avon) 21-14.
- Taranaki Daily News
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