Moving the Trusts NZ Open from its traditional November time to February to benefit from better weather seemed to be a bit of an error of judgement by organisers, Auckland Bowls last week with poor weather hitting the start of the competition. The inclement weather caused numerous headaches for the organisers and host clubs who did their best to ensure the games went ahead with as minimal disruption to the players as possible. Unfortunately, several games had to be moved to artificial and indoor greens to ensure that the competition kept to schedule, but despite the bad weather and disruptions spirits and level of competition remained high.
Saturday saw the start of the disabled competition under the scrutiny of Commonwealth Selectors, with the finals being played out on Monday 20th.
The penultimate day of the tournament opened with the AeroBowls Women’s Triples Final under glorious sunshine and in front of a good crowd. The AeroBowls Men’s Triples Final kicked off after lunch. The final game of the day was the Trusts Woman’s Singles which proved to be one of the best games of the tournament with both ladies playing some sublime bowls, with Brown’s Bay player Elaine McClintock prevailing to take the title.
The weather looked to hold as the tournament entered the final day that would feature the Ryman Healthcare Men’s and Women’s Pairs Final, with the Trusts Men’s Singles Final bringing the event to a close. Chris Le Lieuve and Jamie Hill seemed to have the game under control but a late surge from Kerry Chapman and Tony Grantham brought them back into contention before succumbing 18-16.
The Women’s final was played in extreme heat and proved to be a tense battle of nerves. However, Elaine McClintock and Marilyn McLeod finally sealed a 17-14 victory. The scene was then set for the Trusts Men’s Singles Final between defending Champion Richard Girvan and Chris Le Lieuve with Richard proving too strong, taking 4 shots in the final end to secure back to back titles.
Tournament headquarters, Blockhouse Bay Bowling Club proved to be an ideal venue for the event but they were disappointed to only have one player from the club to get into the final stages, with Esther Eu reaching the semi-finals of the Women’s Singles. Congratulations must be given to the sponsors, Auckland Bowls, Blockhouse Bay Bowling Club as well as all volunteers, groundskeepers and players.
2017 Trusts NZ Open Champions