Canterbury will have 12 players representing the Centre at the Bowls New Zealand Bowls3Five grand finals at Naenae over the weekend. Three of the players are in the Halswell Bowling Club Under 5’s side who will play in the Interclub Cup section. This is the first time an Under 5’s team has competed in this competition, throughout the entire competition there has only been three players in the team. The other nine are members of the Elmwood Park team who will compete in the National Open Interclub section.
Self-appointed coach and manager of the Halswell side, Paul Matheson, anticipates that this team is likely to be the least experienced in the Cup section. He said they are a determined bunch who have certainly been putting as many practice hours as their jobs permit to ensure they will be competitive. To reach the finals the team defeated a Fairfield Club side. Paul said they lost their first game of that match up but came back strongly to take the second game and the tie breaker.
Second year player Bernie Blackmun is the most experienced of the trio so is naturally the skip. Previously a social Sonya Butler is now taking the game more seriously, this competition provides her with the opportunity to step up. Paul Avis, another first year bowler, is a convert from golf. Paul said he is showing he has a talent for bowls.
In the National Open section eight players in the Elmwood Park Bowling Club side are the same team that played in the Bowls New Zealand televised Bowls3Five event last year. Liam Eathorne was added as their nineth player. To earn their place in the final they defeated two very strong sides; Meadowbank from Oamaru and Southland’s Te Rangi. At this level three teams from each club will be vying for the title. Team member Bev Morel said that consistency across all teams will be the key to success, as well as a bit of luck. Bev said she has been told the green at Naenae is slow so they will need to be aware of that.
The three Elmwood Park Bowling Club teams are Bev Morel, Lance Pascoe and Nathan Glasson, with Liam, Mandy Boyd and Gary Lawson in another and Kelvin Scott, Jan Shirley and Steve Ditfort in the third team.
All teams will play two games on Saturday starting at 3pm. The final round robin games kick off at 9am Sunday.
The National Interclub Open final between the top two qualifiers will start at 11am. This will be screened live on Sky Sport 9.
The Cup final will start at 12.45pm.
All matches all weekend will be broadcast on the (free to air) Sky Sport Next online platform, in addition to the National Interclub Open final on Sky Sport 9.