Edwards, McIlroy win centre titles
Good things have certainly come in threes for United’s Blackjacks bowler Kirsten Edwards.
Not only did she celebrate her 26th birthday with victory in the Bowls Nelson women’s champion of champions singles final at Wakefield on Saturday, but she also secured her gold star for her fifth Nelson centre title.
World men’s singles champion Shannon McIlroy also wrapped up the men’s champion of champions title.
As Kirsten Griffin, Edwards was already a gold star holder for the Wellington centre prior to her move to Nelson. However, her eventual 21-18 win over Stoke’s Mary Orbell in Saturday’s final involved plenty of hard work.
She’d had to come from 16-8 down in her first round match before beating promising Wakefield player Linda Sisterson 21-16.
Edwards had a slightly easier time in the semifinals, beating Riwaka’s Bev Hunt, also a gold star holder, 21-7.
The final against Orbell produced some excellent bowls, Edwards holding the early lead until Orbell tied up the contest at 14-14 and again at 16-16. Orbell eventually went ahead 18-16 but dropped the maximum four shots to trail 20-18 before Edwards scored the winning shot.
In the men’s competition, Stoke’s McIlroy had to survive a tough opening round contest against United’s Murray Scott before eventually winning 21-17.
Scott had led 12-5 after 10 ends, but McIlroy then scored 10 unanswered points to hit the lead 15-12 and was never headed. Although he dropped a four on the 20th end, he held on for the win.
It was then plain sailing for McIlroy, comfortably beating Maitai’s Bruno DeLorenzo 21-4, United’s Lex Quayle 21-6 and eventually Wakefields’ Tony Eames 21-10 in the final. Eames had reached the final with wins over Mapua’s David England (21-8) and an impressive 21-15 win over Motueka’s Craig Fowler.
The champion of champions men’s and women’s triples were also decided at Motueka on Sunday, with Stoke’s Peter Hodson, James Pugh and Dave Merritt beating Motueka’s Tony Fowler, Dave Currie and Craig Fowler 16-8 for the men’s title.
Hodson had reached the final with a 23-8 victory over Nelson’s George Barbir and another comfortable win 21-7 over Pohara’s Les Hambrook. Fowler had beaten Maitai’s Len Edwards 20-7, United’s Mike Wilson 19-2 and Tahunanui’s John Williscroft 24-4.
Stoke led throughout the final, having been 11-2 up after nine of the required 15 ends.
The women’s title went to the local Motueka team of Marcia Duncan, Rae Inglis and Helen Douglas who beat Richmond’s Monica Kennedy, Jeanette Pauling and Helen White 13-11 in a very tight match.
Motueka also had a tight 14-13 semifinal win over Wakefield’s Margaret Eames, having accounted for Riwaka’s Bev Hunt 16-10 in the first round. Kennedy had had a close 15-13 win over Stoke’s Lesley Morris before beating Ngawhatu’s Jill Goulding 17-8 in the semifinal.
Shannon McIlroy, left, had to survive a tough first round match with Murray Scott before winning the Bowls Nelson men’s champion of champions singles title.