Stu's 35-year quest for Taranaki success Settled
It's been more than 30 years in the making, but Hinuera's Stu Settle has finally won the Taranaki Open fours men's bowls title.
Settle, his brother John Settle, Bruce Milne and Keven Smith took out the fours title for the first time last Friday, beating an Alton team skipped by former New Zealand representative Neville Hill.
The 24-12 victory was the first final the Hinuera team had made at the tournament, despite Settle competing on and off for the past 35-years, and Milne attending his 29th straight Taranaki Open fours event.
"We've been coming down for a few years. Bruce has been 29 years on the trot and I've been down on and off for 35 years," he said.
"This is the first time we've got to the final. We've been third-equal twice."
Hinuera had to battle their opponents and the weather to win the title, with play transferred to an indoor complex from the West End greens in New Plymouth when heavy rain and flooding hit.
They were leading 16-8 at the time, and kept their composure despite the ground change, extending their lead to 19-8 in the next end.
"It's been a good week. Everyone played well. It's a great tournament, the best in New Zealand. Twenty-five ends - you can't beat it," Settle said.
"The change of venue didn't worry us. We knew we just had to keep on going. We've played together for years and three of his play in the Waikato rep side. We're all good mates, there's no arguments."