Four times sin­gles champ Of­fi­cer re­gains women’s open sin­gles ti­tle

Te Awamutu Courier - - Sport - BY COLIN THORSEN

Janet Of­fi­cer recorded an his­toric fourth win in the women’s open sin­gles cham­pi­onship beat­ing Mary Southey 21-11 in this year’s fi­nal at Te Awa­mutu Bowl­ing Club.

Of­fi­cer’s pre­vi­ous wins were in 2006, 2011 and 2014.

The 75-year-old joins Mar­lene Lane (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004) on the hon­our’s board as the only club mem­bers to have won the cham­pi­onship four times.

Of­fi­cer scored three shots on the open­ing end against Southey, a first year se­nior player who drew the bye into the fi­nal.

Southey struck back with a 1, 2, 2, se­quence to lead 5-3 af­ter four ends.

The more ex­pe­ri­enced Of­fi­cer then won eight of the 11 ends to clinch the ti­tle on the 15th.

Of­fi­cer was ear­lier fully ex­tended by last year’s cham­pion Diane Sharpe in the semi­fi­nal, pre­vail­ing 21-17 af­ter a marathon 26 ends. Sharpe never led at any stage.

It was the sec­ond year run­ning that Southey has made the fi­nal, hav­ing been beaten by Sharpe 21-15 in 2017.

Of­fi­cer fea­tures promi­nently on the club’s hon­ours board.

In 2005-06 she won the sin­gles, pairs (part­nered by Mar­garet Lit­tle­wood) and fours (with Lit­tle­wood, Jan Yarnd­ley, Lorna Black­stock). Miss­ing out on the triples pre­vented a rare clean-sweep of all the club cham­pi­onships in the one sea­son.

Of­fi­cer does not play bowls on Sun­days, rul­ing her out of mixed club events. She did, how­ever, skip the win­ning mixed fours team when it was con­tested mid­week in 2011-12. Her team­mates were Bob Kewish, Mar­garet Lit­tle­wood and Noel Ballinger.

One of the high­lights of Of­fi­cer’s ca­reer oc­curred just be­fore Christ­mas in 2013 when she beat some of the best play­ers in the Waikato, help­ing Te Awa­mutu win the Waikato women’s in­ter­club two­day tour­na­ment.

She won six of her seven sin­gles matches. Her only loss was to the Hill­crest rep­re­sen­ta­tive. The first to 25 points match was tied up at 24-all, only for Of­fi­cer to lose the last end by a mea­sure.

As win­ners of the Waikato in­ter­club ti­tle, the Te Awa­mutu team au­to­mat­i­cally ad­vanced to the re­gional play offs to face other cham­pion club teams from Coun­ties, Thames Val­ley and Bay of Plenty. The tri­umphant Te Awa­mutu team com­prised Nevenka Dr­nasin, Betty Gib­son, Rose­mary McGill, Dawn High­nam, Dawn Small, Of­fi­cer and Lynda Ben­nett.

It was not the first Waikato ti­tle that Of­fi­cer has won.

In 2002 she was a mem­ber of the Te Awa­mutu team (with Mary War­ren, Jan Yarnd­ley) that won the Waikato Un­der 10 years (play­ing ex­pe­ri­ence) triples cham­pi­onship.

Photo / Colin Thorsen

Four times Te Awa­mutu open women’s sin­gles cham­pion Janet Of­fi­cer.

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