Top in­door bowls comes to Up­per Hutt

Upper Hutt Leader - - CLASSIFIED - COLIN WIL­LIAMS

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.

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