Top indoor bowls comes to Upper Hutt
Top indoor bowls comes to Upper Hutt on Saturday with the New Zealand Indoor Bowls Mixed Fours and Mixed Pairs tournaments being played at the Expressions Recreation Centre.
Local interest will be high with an experienced Upper Hutt Valley team looking to make the most of their home advantage to take out the fours title.
As defending champions, Ashley Diamond, Sheree Holmes, Lisa White and Brandon Fuge will start as favourites when competition gets under way at 10am.
To compete in the national finals teams had to win their district competitions and then come out on top in their zone finals, one of eight across the country.
The talented Upper Hutt club quartet have been together a long time, having come through the junior ranks to form a formidable senior combination.
All have represented their country.
Diamond won the mixed fours in 2011 and, with Holmes, won the National Championship fours this year, which gave the 30-year-old a fifth national title and the code’s Gold Star accolade.
The fours’ skip, Diamond is in top touch after winning last weekend’s New Zealand Champion of Champion’s singles in Nelson for a second time. He beat Auckland’s Alex Reed 11-8 after coming through a field of 34 regional winners.
His top season also includes two Australasian medals with the Mat Blacks and the South Island pairs.
The Upper Hutt team’s main rivals appear to be the Tauranga combination skipped by Mat Black Paul Smith, winners in 2014.
Other teams will represent Northland, Bush Ruahine, Nelson, South Canterbury, Taranaki and Otago zones.
Diamond is quietly confident playing at ‘‘home’’ will help his team.
‘‘To be fair all the floors play differently and we know this one well. We are there every second weekend and most Monday nights throughout the season,’’ he said.
The national mixed pairs play will be held in conjunction with the fours, with North Wellington’s Kyle Waldron and Deborah Crook carrying the local zone hopes..
Upper Hutt indoor bowlers Ashley Diamond, left, Sheree Holmes, Lisa White and Brandon Fuge will look to defend their New Zealand Mixed Fours title on Saturday at the Expressions Recreation Centre. Ashley Diamond
Diamond celebrates his second Champion of Champions singles title.